Thursday, January 29, 2015

San Antonio Missions

We are now in Rockport, TX, for a month down on the gulf coast just north of Corpus Christi.   I do need to finish up with San Antonio first though.

There were 6 missions built in San Antonio in the early 1700's by the Spaniards to help colonize the area.  The Alamo is one of the 5 remaining.  The other four are close by and well worth spending a day to visit!

The missions were more than just churches, they were fortified communities.  Each with it's own church, farm and ranch.  You can no longer see this at The Alamo, of course, but you can see it in the other missions, especially Mission San Jose where the entire mission was recreated as historically accurate as possible.


Mission Espada
 All of the churches at the missions are still functioning today.



Mission San Juan



 We walked along the San Antonio River between Mission Espada and Mission San Juan and saw several herons and egrets, cormorants and ducks along the way.

 This is the largest of the missions and the one that was almost entirely recreated:
Mission San Jose





Interesting note:  the door in the pic below located up and to the right of the altar led to the infirmary which was on the second floor behind the church.  The door was left open during mass so the patients could hear mass and then communion was raised via a pulley to the open door for distribution.







The stairs you see here lead up to the choir loft in the back of the church.  They are made from solid blocks of wood and balanced such that there are no screws or bolts holding them together!  They are the original stairs and the only way to get to the choir loft:)





Beautiful and ornate, all the figures and symbols surrounding the doors have meaning.

 Mission Concepcion is the only mission that has not had any reconstruction done and the church and adjoining building remained mostly intact.  As with the Alamo, the fortified wall and outer building are long gone.
Mission Concepcion






The ranger is explaining the significance  of all the symbols surrounding the main door.

In his arm he holds a simple flute which he played for us while we were looking through the church!  Lovely!



2 comments:

  1. Lisa, the River Walk actually extends out past the missions and, had we known, we could have ridden our bikes to visit the missions...you two would love it!

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