by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

San Antonio Missions

National Historical Park - Texas

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Historical Park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

maps

Official visitor map of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail (NHT) in Texas and Louisiana. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).El Camino Real de los Tejas - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail (NHT) in Texas and Louisiana. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (NHP) in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).San Antonio Missions - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (NHP) in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/saan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio_Missions_National_Historical_Park San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Historical Park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Welcome to San Antonio Missions, a National Park Service site and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas. After 10,000 years, the people of South Texas were faced with drought, European diseases, and colonization. In the early 1700s, many Native people of South Texas foreswore their traditional life to become Spanish, accepting a new religion and agrarian lifestyle in hopes of survival. Park Headquarter's is located 4 miles south of downtown San Antonio. The four mission sites lay as a chain south of downtown. Mission Concepción is 3 miles, Mission San José and the park visitor center is 6 miles south, Mission San Juan is 3 miles south of San José, and Mission Espada lays another mile beyond. Written directions and GPS addresses can be found at the link below. Visitor Center at Mission San José Park Store in the Visitor Center is open 9 am to 5pm, 7 days/week. Visitor Center is often closed for the lunch hour. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. Park Store operated by Western National Parks Association. Just outside of the Visitor Center, you will find a plaque recognizing the park's World Heritage designation. From downtown and the Alamo area: Travel south on South St. Mary’s St. Approximately one mile south of downtown, after passing beneath railroad tracks, South St. Mary’s becomes Roosevelt Ave. Continue on Roosevelt 4 miles to a large stone structure on your left: Mission San José. At the first stop light past the mission turn left onto New Napier Ave to parking lot. Mission Espada, World Heritage Site Mission Espada, World Heritage Site A part of Mission Espada's ranch is located 30 miles south-east, outside of Floresville, TX. Tours of Mission San José Park Ranger leads a tour through Mission San José Catch a tour at Mission San José at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00 daily. Rose Window at Mission San Jose Rose window at mission San Jose, with linestone carvings surrounding a small glass window. The Rose Window is a famous feature of Mission San Jose. Mission San Jose sunset Mission San Jose church and convento during the golden hour with tree Explore 18th century mission sites like Mission San Jose. Mission Concepcion Convento & Church Mission Concepcion convento with church in background. Mission Concepcion is the nation's oldest unrestored stone church. Q&A with MANO Project Interns at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Chantelle Ruidant-Hansen, Jazciel Solis and Tanya Helbig share their stories and goals working at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas. Jazciel and Tanya are currently Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) interns. An alum of LHIP and the MANO Project, Chantelle is now a permanent park guide! Tanya Helbig and Jazciel Solis taking a selfie, Ranger Chantelle Ruidant-Hansen, with a sheep NPS Geodiversity Atlas—San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Texas Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] san antonio mission 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Around the country with the monarch butterfly It's about to begin! What parks will the monarchs amazing journey take them? A mock monarch selfie at Ozakrs National Scenic Riverways Education Programs at San Antonio Missions NHP Field trip programs at San Antonio Missions NHP help students to find their park by understanding the people who built the historic missions. Dias de los Monarchs San Antonio Missions NHP is along the monarch migration path. As monarchs emerge in the South Texas sky, certain Mexican cultural traditions also emerge. For many local people celebrating Dia de los Muertos, monarchs represent deceased loved ones returning as monarch butterflies to visit their families through the migration each year. Monarch butterfly pollinating a purple native flower. Encontrando Su Parque When the Spanish established the San Antonio Missions, they laid the foundation for a new cultural group to emerge: the Tejano people. The missions are a representation of the shift in culture, religion, lifestyle, and people that occurred three hundred years ago. Tejanos represent that change as well. Modern Tejano culture is a result of the blend of Spanish and native cultures and distinct to South Texas. Latino Heritage Intern and Community Outreach Fellow hold water bottle Module Conducts Wildland-Urban Interface Projects Throughout the Intermountain Region In 2013, the Saguaro Wildland Fire Module (WFM) managed multiple projects simultaneously in AZ, TX, and NM. WFMs are highly skilled and versatile fire crews that provide expertise in long-term planning, ignitions, holding, prescribed fire preparation and implementation support, hazardous fuels reduction, and fire effects monitoring. With their help, fire fulfills its natural or historic role to meet resource and management objectives and create fire-adapted communities. Protecting Spanish Colonial Missions The Mission San Jose Church, part of the World Heritage listing for San Antonio Missions. The brown stone Mission San Jose Church. Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary. The National Park Service invites you to travel the National Historic Trails, units of the National Park System, and other places listed in the National Register of Historic Places that bring alive the stories of Spanish colonial missions in the Southwestern United States. Missions were communities aimed at converting American Indians to Roman Catholicism and to Spanish ways of life. Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary A Day in the Life of a Spanish Missionary -- Friar Alonso de Benavides, 1630 A Day in the Life of a Spanish Missionary -- Friar Alonso de Benavides, 1630. An Essay from the Spanish Colonial Missions Travel Itinerary A Day in the Life of a Spanish Missionary -- Friar Alonso de Benavides, 1630 essay San Antonio Missions on El Camino Real de los Tejas Like Spanish Texas in general, San Antonio began as a response to encroaching French forces. Spaniards used three distinct institutions to populate New Spain’s northern frontier and preserve it from foreign influence: presidios, missions, and civilian settlements. The various branches of El Camino Real de los Tejas carried goods, people, and information that helped missions achieve this goal. Stone sign in front of a spanish colonial mission. Cultural Landscape Apprentices Address Deferred Maintenance Projects, Learn Career Skills at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Cultural Landscape Apprentices work alongside National Park Service staff to learn important job skills and address deferred maintenance projects such as grounds and acequia preservation, irrigation system management, landscape bed rehabilitation, and associated tasks during their time at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Poet Laureate Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson Tells a Story of Finding Identity at the National Park San Antonio Missions National Historical Park interprets the nation's history and heritage. The park is partnering with Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson, the first Black San Antonio Poet Laureate, to tell the story of identity and ancestry. This performance focuses on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the midst of uncertainty, insecurities and simply not knowing. It is about identity, heritage, and finding peace with who you are. San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson and dance artist Amber Ortega perform. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Be Our Guest! Corn (maize) was an important part of indigenous people's diets in the Americas, but the Spanish who colonized the area preferred wheat to corn. Colonized diets, meaning the diets the Spanish brought to the New World, became the main recipes at the San Antonio Missions. The Mission San José grist mill, powered by acequias (irrigation ditches), was built in 1794 to grind wheat using water from the San Antonio River. Artist's illustration of the irrigation ditch Meet Karli - Cultural Landscape Apprentice The Cultural Landscape Apprentice Program is a partnership between the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Texas Conservation Corps, and Mission Heritage Partners. The program matches local Latinx young adults with opportunities to learn about cultural landscape management in a hands-on environment alongside National Park Service employees. Karli, a young woman, stands in front of a limestone wall with the church facade in the background. Meet Yukary - Cultural Landscape Apprentice The Cultural Landscape Apprentice Program is a partnership between the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Texas Conservation Corps, and Mission Heritage Partners. The program matches local Latinx young adults with opportunities to learn about cultural landscape management in a hands-on environment alongside National Park Service employees. Meet Sarah - Cultural Landscape Apprentice The Cultural Landscape Apprentice Program is a partnership between the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Texas Conservation Corps, and Mission Heritage Partners. The program matches local Latinx young adults with opportunities to learn about cultural landscape management in a hands-on environment alongside National Park Service employees. Preserving History & Our Ecosystem with Native Plant Relocation The Texas Conservation Corps and the San Antonio River Authority worked together at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park to relocate Sagittaria plants from the Espada acequia to the San Antonio River. Sagittaria is a native plant species, also known as the Arrowhead plant. This project not only supports the cultural resource of the acequias by removing plants that obstruct the water flow, but it also benefits natural park resources by preserving native plant species. Two interns in overalls and hard hats stand in waist-high water. Cherry Payne: A Career of Commitment and Compromise When Cherry Payne was first interviewed by Dorothy Boyle Huyck in the 1970s, she was a young interpretive ranger at Grand Teton National Park at the start of her NPS career. In an oral history interview recorded in 2020, she reflected on where that career had taken her. Each step of the way, Payne balanced commitment with compromise as she made decisions about family life, professional life, and park management. Portrait of Cherry Payne in a house The Cultural Landscape of the San Antonio Missions The 18th century mission complexes of San Antonio represent the most complete extant example of Spain’s efforts to use the missionary system to expand control of indigenous people. This presentation examines the mission remains and evidence of the influence of indigenous people. Q&A With Cultural Resource Management Intern Cristóbal López Meet Cristóbal López who spent his summer researching the origins of the cemetery located in front of the church at Mission San Jose, one of the four missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Learn about his work as an intern, and why he has dedicated his academic and professional career to preserving the rich history and heritage of people whose history tends to be lost or left out of certain narratives. man posing in front of San Antonio Missions' sign Staff Spotlight: Jorge Hernandez Meet Jorge Hernandez, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator with Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Learn how he first got involved with the National Park Service as a volunteer, his journey with NPS, and advice for youth and young adults. Profile photo of Jorge Hernandez
San Antonio Missions The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River in the 1700s is a reminder of one of Spain’s most successful attempts to extend its dominion northward from New Spain (present-day Mexico). Collectively they form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. spreading the Catholic faith—the basis of Spanish colonial society—among the frontier Indians. Financed by the Crown, Franciscan missions served both Church and State. As an arm of the church, the mission was the vanguard for converting the Indians spiritually. As an agent of the state, the mission helped push the empire northward. Missions also offered Indians sanctuary from their enemies. Tales of riches spurred the early Spanish explorers northward across the Rio Grande. By the 1600s Spaniards penetrated areas to the east, encountering the Tejas Indians for whom Texas is named. As dreams of wealth faded, the Spanish concentrated more fully on Threatened by French encroachments from Louisiana, Spain stepped up its colonization in 1690, establishing six missions in East Texas. Needing a way station between these and Extended families would come together in larger bands when food was abundant. other Franciscan missions in New Spain, the friars transferred a failed mission on the Rio Grande to the San Antonio River in 1718. It was renamed mission San Antonio de Valero, later called the Alamo. Water, timber, and wildlife in this rich valley had long attracted Spanish explorers. Noting the many Coahuiltecan (kwa-weel-teken) Indians nearby, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús established a second mission, San José, in 1720. As the East Texas missions failed due to disease, drought, and shifting relations with France, three were moved to the San Antonio River valley in 1731. These five missions, a presidio (fort), and settlement were the seeds for one of the most successful Spanish communities in Texas. These missions flourished between 1747 and 1775, despite periodic raids by Apache and Comanche Indians. Military support was never adequate, so the Spanish trained the Christianized mission Indians to defend their communities. After 70 years there was less need for the missions because of the effects of European diseases, acculturation, and intermarriage. By 1824 the San Antonio missions were National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior secularized—the lands were redistributed among the inhabitants, and the churches were transferred to the secular clergy. The Spanish missions helped form the foundation for the city of San Antonio. Modern San Antonio early recognized the missions’ significance, and since the 1920s the city has worked to preserve them. Today these missions represent a nearly unbroken connection with the past. Carrying the legacy of generations of American Indians and Hispanics, they live as active parishes. The Franciscan Missions Coahuiltecans American Indians living in the San Antonio missions came from several hunting and gathering bands known collectively as Coahuiltecans (kwa-weel-tekens). Ranging across today’s south Texas and northeastern Mexico, they moved with the seasons in search of food. The bands had distinct dialects and religious practices but shared broad characteristics. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Texas Men hunted the occasional bison, deer, or rabbit or trapped fish and snakes. But fruits, nuts, beans, roots, and seeds gathered by the women and children were the bulk of their diet. Wearing skins and woven sandals, they used bows and arrows, fishing nets, digging sticks, and grinding stones to get and prepare food. When time permitted they made brush huts and wove sleeping mats. They produced simple pottery and were fine basket makers, using baskets to store and carry food. They practiced rites of passage and observed seasonal ceremonies that were common to many hunter-gatherer cultures. Even before mission life changed their ancient living habits, the Coahuiltecans were being pressed by nomadic tribes encroaching from the north. But a greater threat was the European diseases introduced by the Spanish, which eventually decimated their numbers. Struggling under such hardships, Coahuiltecans proved to be relatively willing recruits for the missionaries. In exchange for labor and conversion to Catholicism, Indians received food and refuge in the missions. cartographers, diplomats, scientific observers, and chroniclers. But their primary New World task was to expand Spanish culture to whatever lands the Crown claimed. Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús (1657–1726), founder The mission system of Mission San José. sought to bring Indians SAN JACINTO MUSEUM, HOUSTON Cross and Crown Spanish colonialism, like that of other nations then, was exploitative. Yet the Franciscans directed these missions with a gentle hand. An order of friars whose members took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Franciscans pledged to serve as protectors of the India
San Antonio Missions National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo English “...in point of beauty, plan, and strength... there is not a presidio...that can compare with it.” Fr. Morfi, 1777 Reprinted from Story of the Great American West ©1977. The Reader’s Digest Association, INC. Founding the “Queen of the Missions” A Day at Mission San José in 1778 In 1719, Father Margil de Jesús, a seasoned Franciscan missionary, was at Mission San Antonio de Valero (today’s Alamo), awaiting the opportunity to re-establish missions in east Texas. Before too long, he saw need for another mission in the San Antonio River valley. He wrote the Marqués de Aguayo, then governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas, requesting permission to establish a second mission south of San Antonio de Valero. He felt he was prepared to establish this mission at once as he had necessary church goods with him, even a statue of Saint Joseph. The Marqués agreed and founding ceremonies took place on February 23, 1720. Leaders of three Indian bands that wanted to come into the mission were appointed governor, judge, and sheriff in the new community of San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. Father Margil entrusted the care of the project to Father Núñez and two soldiers. The Franciscan friars’ objective was to convert indigenous hunters and gatherers into Catholic, tax-paying subjects of the King of Spain. The Indians’ struggle for survival against European disease and raiding Lipan Apaches led them to the missions and to forfeit their culture. Everything changed for these neophytes: diet, clothing, religion, culture — even their names. They were required to learn two new languages, Latin and Spanish, as well as new vocations. ers, and at the lime kilns. Some took charge of the livestock at the mission’s ranch, El Atascoso, about 25 miles southwest of the mission. The neophytes’ new roles and duties in the mission were very regimented. Everyone undertook religious instruction daily. Church bells called them to worship three times a day. Following sunrise mass, families returned to their quarters for corn atole (mush) and charque (jerky). After breakfast, the men and boys worked in the labores (fields), and in textile, tailor, carpenter, and blacksmith shops. They also worked as masons, weavers, acequia (irrigation ditch) build- The building of the limestone church, with its extraordinary Spanish colonial Baroque architecture and statuary began in 1768 — the peak of this mission’s development. At that time there were 350 Indians residing in 84 two-room apartments. Based on Father Morfi’s description of what he saw here when he visited in 1777, the church of Mission San José came to be known as the “Queen of the Missions.” The women and girls prepared food, swept the dirt floors, carded wool, and fished in the irrigation ditch outside the walls, in addition to raising children. Everyone helped at harvest. Father Ramírez gave the Indian children religious instruction. Spanish and Indian mission officials met in the plaza to discuss community affairs. The bells rang out at noon, calling everyone back to the church for prayers. The main meal of the day was lunch, perhaps a bowl of goat stew and fresh baked tortillas. The afternoon siesta followed the meal and most activity subsided for several hours. Mounted Indian sentinels, however, continually kept guard outside the walls. Summoned by the bells, everyone returned to the church for evening worship. After supper, recreational time for singing, games, dances, storytelling, and drama filled the evening. At dark, all retired to their raised beds of buffalo hides. The next work day began at sunrise as the mission Indians were again called by the bells into the church for mass. A Community Continues On February 29, 1824, Mission San José ceased to be a mission. It was fully secularized that day when Father Díaz complied with Mexican government orders. He turned church property over to Chaplain Maynes and the mission Indians living here. After secularization, the mission was neglected. In the years following, Benedictines, Redemptorists, and Holy Cross Fathers ministered from the ruins. In 1931, the Franciscans returned and live here today. The 104 years that San José operated as a mission, over 2,000 Indians were baptized. Today, families that worship at Mission San José continue in the faith taught to the mission Indians. Many hearts and hands continue to restored this “Queen of the Missions”. Today, the National Park Service preserves and protects the living heritage of the people transformed here and the stone structures they built. This ensures that future generations visiting these walls will see how the past has shaped the present. The colorful pageantry of culture, art, food, celebrations, and architecture we enjoy in San Antonio today emerged from the blending of Spanish and Indian
San Antonio Missions National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepción de Acuña English Concepción Cellphone Tour 210.852.2407 #30, #31, & #32. Enduring time and elements for 250 years, Mission Concepción stands as one of the country’s oldest original stone churches. But mortar and stone are not all that remain of the vibrant mission community. Though the mission served as a religious center, missionaries provided much more than spiritual guidance. They instructed inhabitants to function as a European community. By combining the teachings of Catholic Spain with native cultures, mission life gave rise to the unique culture of modern-day South Texas. Look closer and enter a portal to our past and a connection to our present. Blending Cultures, Building Community Imagine life as a hunter-gatherer. Days are spent in a relentless search for food, and nights are filled with the endless sky above. Survival depends on the mercy of the wilderness and one’s ability to reap its bounty and to endure its scarcity. This was the world of the Native Americans of South Texas before the arrival of the Europeans. The Coahuiltecans (kwa-weel-tekans), rich in tradition, were people of survival, in harsh harmony with their environment. The arrival of Europeans brought devastating diseases and irreversible change, threatening American Indian lifeways. Mission living offered a chance for survival, which these people seized. Carrying the traditions of Catholic Spain, Franciscan missionaries taught the Coahuiltecans how to manipulate the land in order to live in a permanant settlement. Mission Indians learned to farm and ranch, and to quarry and build with stone. By combining these new skills with their hunting and gathering past, they provided their mission community with a stable food supply. They created stone living quarters that sheltered their descendants for generations. And, they built their new spiritual center — the church. As hunter-gatherers, they had existed in small, scattered bands. When Coahuiltecans joined the mission, the Friar used the tenets of the Catholic faith to teach them a new way of life. Mission leaders introduced stationary, yearround community living. Franciscan friars aspired to teach community Religion – Teaching a New Sense of Community harmony through the Catholic sacraments of baptism, communion, reconciliation, confirmation, and marriage. For example, at baptism parents selected padrinos, or godparents, for their child. If the parents died, responsibility for the child’s welfare fell on the padrinos, whether blood relations or not. This connected the larger community through a shared responsibility for its members. Trusting in the united group and learning spec- Mission Concepción Today Upon entering the mission, Coahuiltecans were expected to give up their own religion, culture, and traditions – even their names. They were expected to become Spanish. Despite this, elements of their native lifeways blended with Spanish and Catholic cultures. Today this blend comprises the rich cultural heritage of San Antonio. gradual disappearance of the colorful frescos, little of its appearance has changed . . . and none of its importance to the communty. Frescoed facade rendered by Ernst Shuchard, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library It has been 250 years since the mission Indians laid the last stone for their church. Except for the alized skills, the mission inhabitants protected, sheltered, fed, and clothed each other. By combining these efforts, they achieved a sense of security they had lost. But they also paid a price. Brightly painted almost 250 years ago in elaborate frescos, the weathered facade still contains traces of its colorful past. Religious services are still held at Mission Concepción. Seasonal decora-tions may be seen in the church’s interior. Conservation in 2010 exposed original frescoes in the sanctuary and nave. mid-1700 frescos Baptistr Main doors locked (use rear entrance into church) Nave Convento 1. Corridor 2. Storeroom 3. Porteria 4. Library 5. Kitchen 6. Refectory 7. Sleeping Cell Sanctuary Chapel Sacristry 2 1 3 * Church Entrance Granary NORTH 4 5 6 7 (ruins) Serving as headquarters for several Texas missions, Mission Concepción housed the Father President’s office. (Closed) Unknown Building Walkway to Church Entrance k f Information Center To protect these structures, please do not sit, lean, or stand on the historic walls and well, and the quarry stones. The extensive art inside the buildings contains a blending of Christian, Spanish, and Native art elements. Experts restored original frescos on the convento walls and ceiling in 1988. The convento served as living and office space for the missionary. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA The steps to the Father President’s office hint at the Moorish influence in Spanish architecture.
San Antonio Missions Mission San Juan Capistrano National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park English Looking on the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano, it might be hard to envision a thriving community. This serene rural setting seems to silence voices of the past. Yet if you linger, you may sense those voices echoing from the limestone walls. On any day, it is common to hear the inhabitants of San Juan’s still active community. They continue to visit the mission grounds, enjoying the natural and spiritual elements of their neighborhood mission. The Development of a Community The history of Mission San Juan began in the woods of East Texas. In 1716, Mission San José de los Nazonis was established to serve the Nazonis Indians. However, the mission was not successful, and whatever was transportable was moved here. On March 5, 1731, the mission was reestablished on the east bank of the San Antonio River and renamed San Juan Capistrano. Despite the new location, the mission still had to contend with adversity. Epidemics of smallpox, measles, and other European disease swept through the mission, causing much suffering and death among the native inhabitants. Early on, bands of raiding Apaches and later Comanches terrorized the community. At times, when food was bountiful and danger was low outside the protective walls, some of the mission Indians left, returning to their hunting and gathering way of life. Political problems also arose. As governing power figures in the area changed, so did support for the mission. Still, the mission persevered and grew. By 1762 there were 203 Indians residing at Mission San Juan. The mission included a granary, textile shops, and Indian houses made of adobe with thatched roofs. One government inspector wrote in 1767, “. . . overseers or administrators are not needed. . . . The Indians themselves take care of work in the cloth factory, carpenter shop, forge . . . and attend to all of the work that is to be done in the town. They are industrious and diligent and are skilled in all kinds of labor.” One task that the community could not accomplish, however, was the construction of a new and larger church, which began in 1772. This effort may have been a part of a plan to completely renovate the east side of the mission compound. The intended design of the building probably included a vaulted ceiling over the nave and a dome over the sacristy. A lack of Indian labor prohibited the completion of the project, and construction halted in 1786. Agriculture: A Mission Success Story While the walled compound served as the center of mission life, it was outside the walls where the community enjoyed some of its greatest success. Large labores (farmlands) surrounded the mission, and were irrigated by acequias (irrigation ditches). A section of the labores and acequia can be seen across the parking lot from the mission compound. Crops included corn, beans, chilies, melons, cotton, sugar cane, and squash. The fertile soil of the San Antonio River flood plain and the reliable water supply made for successful farming — the mission often enjoyed large surpluses of food. The success of its agriculture became the basis of Mission San Juan’s economy. Surplus produce, along with cattle and other goods, were traded with other Spanish missions and settlements in the area and into present-day Mexico. There possibly was even trade with French settlements in Louisiana. This legacy continues today, as agriculture is still prominent in the surrounding area. Mission San Juan Today It may seem quiet today, yet Mission San Juan is still the center of a vibrant community. The meeting of the Spanish and native people has led to a new, unique culture that is celebrated among the people of San Juan Parish. Many parishioners trace their roots back to the original inhabitants. For them, Mission San Juan serves as the spiritual center of their community. They come to worship at the church, just as their ancestors did centuries ago.  Parish Building   reconstructed in 1967-68 North Gate original gate constructed ca. 1770 Native Living Quarters constructed ca. 1770 restored in 1950 Rectory (private  residence) reconstructed in 1967-68 San Juan Cellphone Tour 210.852.2407, Stops #1-8 Post-colonial House Tufa House  Join us on Facebook and at www.nps.gov/saan North  Present-day Church constructed ca. 1772; exterior walls covered with plaster in 1984; major stablization and preservation in 2012 West Gate  Main gate constructed early 1770s structures by not climbing, standing, or sitting on them. Unfinished Church construction began about 1775; restoration ca. 1950  First Stone Church Convento  Watch your head and feet – walkways are uneven and doorways are low. constructed by 1750s; foundations encountered in 1933  Protect these historic stone constructed in the mid-19th century   Native Living Quarte
San Antonio Missions National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Mission San Francisco de la Espada English Oil by Theodore Gentilz, courtesy of the Witte Museum Espada Cellphone Tour - Free 210.852.2407 # 9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15 After 250 years, Mission San Francisco de la Espada (Mission Saint Francis of the Sword) remarkably retains its unique features and solitary character – keepsakes from the mid-1700s. Espada’s ongoing legacy lies in the blending of Spanish and American Indian lifeways on this sacred ground, creating a new people and culture. Though Spain lost its claim on the New World, its legendary presence remains. As you explore the site, look for the distinctive Spanish features of the church doorway, espadaña (belltower), brick archways, and flowing acequias (irrigation ditches). First Mission in Texas Espada’s roots lie in east Texas, where Spain founded Mission San Francisco de los Texas in 1690. Along with several others, it served as a buffer against French encroachment from Louisiana. Fevers, floods, fires, enemies, and limit- ed supplies prompted several relocations of this early mission. On March 5, 1731, Mission San Francisco de la Espada was established along this bank of the San Antonio River. Missions: Tools of Change Imagine two diverse cultures – separated by language, values and faith – colliding and merging to create a unique mix. Many Coahuiltecans, staggered by famine, imported diseases, enemy tribes, and strange intruders, opted for protection and steady food supply of Mission Espada. Here they mastered Spanish life – and embraced Christianity. Spanish Franciscan missionaries pursued a powerful vision for God and country. They aligned and trained the Coahuiltecan (kwaweel-teken) hunting and gathering cultures to be servants of God and loyal, productive subjects of the Spanish monarchy. Over a 50-year period, they earnestly taught the principles of farming, ranching, architecture, blacksmithing, loom weaving, spinning, and masonry. Espada was the only San Antonio mission where bricks and tiles were made. The Catholic faith and Spanish language became the foundation of the new culture. By the mid-1700’s, these mission walls echoed with the essence of a dynamic community: the blacksmith’s ringing anvil, bellowing livestock, three pounding looms, the clatter of carpentry, and the scrape of the brick maker. Imagine peach orchards and vast fields of beans, corn, and melons beyond the walls, and within, the hum of chants, prayers, and instructional conversations. Daily training and tasks were accomplished to the timing of the mission bells “which clang out three times a day...startling in the still country air.” Community Changes 1794 Inventory 8 yokes of oxen 3 pounds of steel 1 cow and calf 98 pounds of lead 4 horses 2 cannons 3 mules 25 pounds of iron 1,150 sheep 875 pounds of wood 2 looms a few spinning wheels 1 pair shears per family Today the church serves as the heart of this small community; mission descendants continue to worship here. Franciscans, clothed in their simple brown habits, work in the convento. A community assistance organization Remains to be Seen In 1794, Espada began the process of secularization or the transformation to a church-based community. However, the mission was impoverished. Each of the remaining 15 families received land, but shared equipment and supplies. In 1826, a band of Comanches raided the cornfields and killed the livestock. The same year, a kitchen fire destroyed most of the buildings; the chapel survived. Yet, people continued to make their home here. operates on the site. The mute and fragile walls of today’s Mission Espada stand as a testament to the enduring impact of the people who built and nurtured it. Protect these historic stone structures by not climbing, standing, or sitting on them. ____ ____ ____ ____ 1b San ____ 5 Indian Quarters c. 1700s 5  NORTH   4 2  Aqueduct 1½ miles & Dam 3 miles ____ ____ ____ Anto ____ ____ nio R ____ ____ ____ KEY _ iver ____ __ 1a Active Acequia 1b Dry Acequia 2 Bastion--Spanish Colonial 3 Bastion--Mexican 4 Parochial Schoolrooms, late 1800s-late 1960s 5 House Ruins (1821-1967) 6 Blacksmith Shop (modern)  Camposanto (cemetery) 1a  Church & Sacristy c. 1740s Bell tower added in 1780s 5 Indian Quarters  c. 1700s Convento  Priest's Residence (private) & Church Office Spanish Colonial Workshops 6  Granary c.1762 converted to church 1773-76  Indian Quarters c. 1700s Granary c. 1773 Museum 4    Entrance 3 Labores (croplands) Rancho de las Cabras,  23 miles to Floresville, Texas E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A ™ May 2013:12,000
Cell Phone Tours English - Dial (210) 852-2407 SAN JUAN 1 3 Unfinished Church Mystery 4 San Juan Acequia Yanaguana Trail 6 Green Kingfisher 7 Tufa House 8 Handing over the Mission ESPADA The San Antonio Missions are rich with great stories. Hear them come to life on a self-guided tour using your cell phone. FREE, but uses your plan’s minutes. 210.852.2407 Look for numbered stickers on signs and doors as you explore San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. 9 Bricks & Mortar 10 New Skills, New Life 11 Mass and Mitotes 12 Chiseled Arch 13 Conversion or Coercion 14 Rancho de las Cabras 15 Security Threats AQUEDUCT 16 Espada Aqueduct 17 Espada Dam 18 Hike and Bike Trail Find us on Facebook Funded by but they do use your phone and your plan’s minutes. East Texas Beginnings 2 1765 Daily Life 5 Tours are FREE, 19 Migration Hub 20 Spain’s Legacy Please do not use cell phones inside the mission churches. SAN JOSÉ 21 Camino Real de los Tejas 22 A Man’s Life 23 A Woman’s Life 24 A Child’s Life 25 The Franciscan Missionary 26 Teaching with Stone 27 Master Craftsmen 28 Historic Mission Preservation 29 Gristmill CONCEPCIÓN 30 Church and Catholicism 31 Colorful Frescos 32 1835 Battle of Concepción Español - Dial (210) 852-2408 SAN JUAN 1 El Misterio de la Iglesia sin Terminar 4 La Acequia de San Juan 5 El Camino Yanaguana 6 El Martín Pescador Verde 7 La Casa de Toba 8 La Entrega de la Misión ESPADA Misiones de San Antonio Parque Histórico Nacional ¡Sumérjase en la historia española colonial! (210)852-2408 (Español) dondequiera y cuandoquiera para su visita guiada virtual. 9 Ladrillos 10 Oficios Nuevos, Vida Nueva 11 La Misa y los Mitotes 12 El Arco de la Capilla 13 Conversión o Coerción 14 El Rancho de las Cabras 15 Amenazas a la Seguridad 16 El Acueducto de la Espada ACUEDUCTO DE ESPADA 17 La Presa de la Espada 18 Recorrido a Pie y en Bicicleta Encuéntrenos en Facebook Financiado cerca pero usan su teléfono y consumen minutos de su plan telefónico. Los Inicios del este de Tejas 2 Un Día en 1765 3 Llamar y escuchar son GRATIS 19 Un Centro de Migración 20 El Legado de España Favor de no usar teléfonos celulares adentro de las iglesias. SAN JOSÉ 21 Camino Real de los Tejas 22 La Vida de un Hombre 23 La Vida de una Mujer 24 La Vida de una Niña 25 Misionarios Franciscanos 26 Enseñanza con Piedra 27 Artesanos Principales 28 Preservación Histórica 29 Molino del Grano CONCEPCIÓN 30 Iglesia y Catolicismo 31 Frescos 32 Batalla de Concepción en 1835
San Antonio Missions National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Teaching With Stone It has a beautiful cupola, though it is overcrowded with unnecessary ornaments with which it is heavily decorated, detracting somewhat from its natural beauty. In a word, no one could have imagined that there were such good artists in so desolate a place. Father Juan Agustín Morfi describing Mission San José in 1778 The beauty of Mission San José's church has been recognized for centuries. Today, visitors enjoy the artistry that remains on this magnificent structure. In the past, the colorful frescoes and elaborate stone work served a functional purpose as well. Franciscan missionaries and mission Indians came from diverse cultures, with very different languages. These differences may have made it difficult for missionaries to communicate the concepts of Christianity. The decorations adorning the church were a tool for teaching the faith. Symbols could have helped close the gaps between cultures. Detail of facade Saint Joseph holding Baby Jesus Interpreting the Symbols Within the intricate stonework of the facade, the colonial artist placed symbols of Catholicism and Spanish culture. Some symbols may have had meaning only to the artist or the inhabitants of the mission. Most, however, are rooted in the long tradition of the Christian faith. Heart The human heart, when associated with saints, is symbolic of love, piety, understanding, courage, devotion, sorrow, and joy. The three hearts found on the facade represent the Holy Family. This heart, enclosed in thorns, is the sacred heart, the symbol of Christ's love for humanity revealed through his suffering for all. The heart with the lily personifies Joseph, while the one with the dagger indicates the Archangel's prediction that the events in her life would be as a dagger through Mary's heart. Pomegranate The pomegranate symbolizes the church because of the inner unity of countless seeds in one fruit. A traditional symbol of fertility, the pomegranate and its seeds symbolized the countless and growing number of converts. The juice's deep red color symbolizes the blood of Christ. Most of the flowers seen on the facade are of the pomegranate. Shell The shell symbolizes baptism, the induction into the faith. Large shells were often used to pour the water upon the person being baptized. It is believed that John the Baptist used a shell to baptize Jesus. Shell designs are frequently found above doorways and windows, symbolizing baptism as the entry into Christianity. Rose The red rose represents martyrdom, the white rose purity. St. Ambrose taught that roses grew in paradise without thorns. After humanity's fall from grace, roses grew thorns, while their beauty and fragrance remind us of the splendor of paradise. Angels As heavenly messengers, angels serve as a link between God and Man, heaven and earth. While there are several classes of angels, the most familiar are the archangels, including Michael and Gabriel. San José's angels are cherubs and bear Native American features in their design. Pinjante The pinjantes replicate cut paper ornaments used to decorate for festive occasions. Some speculate that this design was also used to symbolize the keyhole in the gate of heaven. Images Cut in Stone Within an elaborately carved setting, six saints have stood watch over the entrance to Mission San José's church for more than two centuries. Little is known about the construction of this church; we do know that it was almost complete by 1785. That year, Father Josef Augustin Falcon described the church as having "a well-done carved entranceway with six statues carved from the same stone." Why these symbolic figures were chosen is also unknown. As patron saint of the mission, Saint Joseph (San José) holds the highest spot among the statues. Some speculate that the images of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, who is holding the infant Mary, were used to demonstrate the ideal family to the new converts. Preservation Weathering and time take a heavy toll. While some reconstruction took place in the 1930s and extensive preservation in the early 2010s, most of the original facade remains intact. Today, you can see the handiwork of the early, as of yet unknown, craftsmen. Unfortunately, the facade and church will continue to deteriorate. The Archdiocese of San Antonio is committed through an endowment to maintain San José Church, so descendants of those who labored in this mission may continue to worship here. Who Are They? Saint Joseph - San José The patron saint of Mission San José. Joseph was the husband of Mary and the earthly father of Jesus, who he is holding. Patron Saint of the Laborer. Saint Francis of Assisi Founder of the Franciscan Order, he and his followers were pledged to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. Francis exhibited the Stigmata. He was called Brother Death for trying to take the fear out
San Antonio Missions National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Mission Wall Art Amid their struggle to conquer the frontier of New Spain, the Franciscans planned extravagant beauty for the mission churches. Colorful murals covered both the exterior and interior of the church and the convento (priest’s residence) at Missions Concepción and San José. The thick, weathered church and convento walls of Mission Concepción still stand tall 250 years later, one of the oldest original stone church buildings in the United States today. If you look closely at these faded walls, you will find remnants of their colorful past. Fresco is one of the most permanent ways of decorating. Pigment is applied to wet lime plaster, which absorbs the color. The paints used on the mission churches contained limestone and goat’s milk as binders. As it dries, the plaster hardens back into limestone, and the colors soften into permanency. The Nature of Fresco The Color of Fresco Four colors were used on the churches. Yellow is hydrated ferric oxide, also called ochre or sienna. Red is iron oxide, also known as red ochre or burnt sienna. The oxides occur naturally in nearby sandstone formations and clay deposits. Black is a carbon pigment. The blue pigment is of plant origin, most likely indigo, which was listed in mission inventories. Red Yellow Blue White Illustration courtesy of Junior League of San Antonio The Art of Fresco The art of frescoing was a trade taught to mission Indians. A design was created that could be transferred in one of two ways. One method was to make a pattern that was then perforated. Laying the pattern against the wet plaster, the perforations were pounced with the fine dust of charcoal to leave an impression. The second method was more common at Mission Concepción. Lines were scored in the wet plaster to outline the design. Then, in order to give each feature a colorful life, the mission artisans swiftly but carefully applied paint between these “guide” lines before the plaster dried. The art of frescoing was very tedious and time-consuming. Original work of Ernst Schuchard, courtesy of Daughters of the Republic of Texas Alamo Library, San Antonio The Purpose of Fresco Wall art at the missions served several purposes. Some were used to highlight architectural features, others to hide construction flaws. Some were symbolic and provided a tool for teaching Catholicism to the mission Indians. Many were simply decorative. In any case, the art must have been quite impressive. Father Juan Morfi, a Franciscan friar who visited the San Antonio missions in 1778, gives us a hint of this when he wrote, “In a word, no one could have imagined that there were such good artists in so desolate a place.” The Legacy of Fresco The library at Mission Concepción exhibits the best known examples of frescos. Preservation in 2010 by the Catholic Church exposed additional artwork in the chapel and the baptistry located at the base of the two belltowers. In 2010, the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the parish undertook preservation of the frescos in the sanctuary and sacristy, uncovering even more original plaster and paint. When the park undertook to preserve the library frescos in 1988, an international renowned crew of art conservators tediously removed 250 years’ worth of dirt and non-original plaster. To the surprise of many, the second eye, a mustache, and goatee were revealed on the ceiling sunburst (right)! For decades, the only visible portions had been one eye and several rays. Legends labeled it the “Eye of God” or “All Seeing Eye.” With the appearance of the facial hair, historians Mission Concepción contains the greatest concentration of original wall art left in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Mission San José (below) has a replica on the side of its bell tower. As you visit these sites, gaze upon these ancient walls and imagine them covered with elaborate and colorful murals. Discover for yourself some of the mission’s past. Original work of Ernst Schuchard, courtesy of Daughters of the Republic of Texas Alamo Library, San Antonio The Imagination of Fresco now believe this was not a religious symbol, but rather a Spanish medallion. As is often the case, the meaning of some frescos remains a mystery. Please do not touch walls and frescos. Touching wears away the surface, and skin oils discolor the walls. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A  Feb2011:18,000

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