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I’m not even sure how to being this post. The San Antonio Missions were our first stop(s) in San Antonio. I cannot put into words how absolutely beautiful, historic and peaceful these building are. I wish there was a way that I could just post every single photo that I took, but the pictures don’t even do them justice. If you are ever in San Antonio, please, please, please go see the Missions and drive along the Mission Trail. I will be the first to tell you that I’m not a deeply religious person. I don’t go to church regularly (even though it would make my Memere extremely proud), it’s not a requirement. I can guarantee that you will be touched when you are there. These buildings are magnificent!
The Missions are situated about two to three miles apart along the San Antonio River. Together they form the largest collection of missions in North America. Interesting fact, eh?! There are four left, not counting “The Alamo”, Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada. The Mission Trail is super easy to find and follow. There are signs, you just have to follow them. Super easy! Each mission will take your breath away. They are hidden among neighborhoods and even out in the country. One is actually right near an airport. Oh civilization, look what you have brought to this area. When one Mission comes into view, it’s like the clouds part. The structures are beautiful. Huge. Solid. I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s just so historic and brings together the Spanish ancestory in the region. The buildings are amazing. Let’s just get to it, shall we?!
First Stop: Mission Concepcion
[Don’t mind the sun spot. Photoshop and I haven’t really aquainted ourselves.]
The early missions were unwalled. As tensions grew between the Spanish and native Indians, large stone walls were built around the communities for protection (think of it as a fort).
This is the entrance to the church where they still have service.
This mission was transferred here from East Texas in 1731. The church looks essentially like it did in the mid-1700’s as it does now.
The Missions were orignally built as a community where Spanish missionaries converted native, local Indians to the Catholic faith. The Mission also offered protection for the Indian’s from their enemies.
I loved the benches. The chandelier. The stone. Who am I kidding. This was my favorite church.
These buildings still have original paintings from over two hundred years ago. Many of them have faded however a few can still be seen on the walls and ceilings.
Next stop… Mission San Jose. Stay Tuned!