In the 18th century, the Spanish empire established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River, primarily to extend its dominion northward from Mexico, but also to convert the native population. What remains of the largest concentration of missions in North America provides us with an interesting look into Texas’ history. Today’s Mission Trail links four of the missions: San José, Concepción, San Juan and Espada with its nearby aqueduct.
The fifth is the Alamo itself (Mission DeValero)– much modified but still firmly fixed in the minds history buffs as the scene of a battle that helped secure Texas’ independence from Mexico and made legendary heroes of Jim Bowie, Davey Crockett, and William B. Travis. Who doesn’t recall the immortal words of General Sam Houston “Remember the Alamo”! The Alamo represents nearly 300 years of history. You will visit three buildings – the Shrine, the Long Barrack Museum and Gift Museum – all housing exhibits on the Texas Revolution and Texas History.
On this escorted small group excursion you will also visit and delight in the other significant and beautifully historic missions along the famous “trail”.
Mission Concepcion looks just about as it did, more than 200 years ago. Founded in what is now eastern Texas in 1716. It was transferred to its present in 1731. The beautiful stone church was completed in 1755.
Mission San Jose is the largest and best known of the Texas missions. It is seen as the model among the Texas missions. Way back in 1777 it was referred to the structure as the “Queen of the Missions.” Founded in 1720, the mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marques de San Miguel de Aguayo, the governor of the Province of Coahuila, Mexico and Texas.
Mission San Juan Capistrano made its home along the banks of the San Antonio River in 1731. San Juan was a self-sustaining community that had established a trade network stretching east to Louisiana and south to Coahuila, Mexico.
Mission Espada or San Francisco de la Espada is the southern most of the San Antonio chain of missions, Espada appears as far back in the woods today as it did in the mid-1700s. Founded in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas, this was the first mission in Texas. In 1731, the mission transferred to the San Antonio River area and renamed Mission San Francisco de la Espada.
If you are a big fan of old building and history you will love the Mission Trail which offers a solid footprint about the settling of Texas and a unique opportunity to visit history up close.
This wonderful escape to Texas offers quite the variety of interesting adventures –the Mission Trail is only one item in a diverse and exciting menu. Please check out the complete itinerary and make note of the Corpus Christi Option – it will really satisfy your inner cowboy!!
Also, new to Interlude, watch for our Facebook page where I’ll be posting some authentic Tex-Mex recipes and other tidbits about this trip. Pack your boots and head on out on this escorted journey. Availability will be limited to ensure you savor the true small group experience.
Festive San Antonio (call for details) (5 days, 4 nights)
Eadie – Interlude blog team
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