Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Mission Trail

We were told, by a fellow retire, that after seeing the Alamo and the Riverwalk, "There is nothing else to see in San Antonio". Right. Anyway we decided to go to the another landmark, the San Jose Mission, which is one of the five missions that make up the mission trail in San Antonio.
What a surprise! The Missions actually make up a national historical site. The park headquarters is at Mission San Jose and from the moment we drove near we knew that we were in for a treat.
A little history. The missions were built by the Fransicans around 1760 and were a way for Spain to lay claim to the vast desert southwest. The missions were also a way to convert the native people into christianity. All of the missions fell into disreapair after the missions were turned over to the local people(an order from Mexico), after the revolution), and were repaired during the 1930's by the WPA.
The Mission at San Jose, pictured above, and all the missions are active churches. It was delightful to walk the grounds, view the roman arches, the Rose Window, the elaborate front, the grainary, convent, and the entire ground. By far the neatest thing we had done here so far! We took the guided, and free, Ranger tour.
After the tour we decided to drive to Mission Concepion,(right image), as this one still has original frescos. Another treat! After that we had to drive and see Mission San Juan, Misson Espanda and the Espanda Aquaduct,(We were only able to glimpse the aqueduct as the park closed at 5 pm but we did make all the missions). These four Missions, along with the Alamo,(San Antonio MIssion), comprise the Missions on the Mission Trail. A full afternoon that reminded us of our time in Spain. A must see in San Antonio! Clear skies.

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