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San Antonio Miss

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Tour of San Antonio

The Missions of Texas

While in San Antonio there are five missions you, as a tourist, need to see. These missions are the mission of Nuestra Senora de la Purissima Concepcion, the San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, the Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Franciscode la Espada, and Mission San Antonio de Valero, The Alamo. They are all a great part of the state of Texas.

The Mission Concepcion was first built in East Texas in 1716, but they only stayed there for fifteen years do to hardships. After this it and two other missions moved to San Antonio. The missions were rebuilt on the San Antonio river on March 5, 1731. While Concepcion was built in east Texas just out of logs and thatch the new Conception was built to last it is still standing today. It was built so well it is the only mission in San Antonio that the walls, roofs, and other major structures have never collapsed. The Concepcion is not only the oldest standing stone church in Texas but in the nation. "Father Habig, historian for the Franciscan Order, states un-equivocally that Ð''it is the oldest church of the Immaculate Concepcion of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States" (saconservation 1).

Many Indians came with Concepcion mission to San Antonio to start a new life. The Padres and the Indians built rough temporary structures made of thatched roofs to accommodate their living and worship needs. They planted crops and dug irrigation ditches for their food to eat. As they built permanent mission. They built the Concepcion mission in the design of the general mission plan of the time period. In time the Mission became a community. The Indians and the Padres built a stone wall around the mission compound. (saconservation 1) "Inside the enclosure were the usual buildings of the missions: a stone granary, a friary or convento for the priests apartments along the outer walls for the Indian families, various workshops and, of course, the church itself " (saconservation 1).

While the permanent church was being built the people of the Concepcion Mission were having worship in temporary structures. The church was started in 1740, and completed and dedicated on December 8, 1755. Early church record describe the church in detail. (saconservation 1) "It was cruciform building of stone and mortar, having a vaulted roof with cupola, or dome, and two similar towers topped by crosses of Iron. This was the only mission church in this area to have twin bell towers (saconservation 2)."

"The building is recorded as being 89 feet long and 22 Ð'ј feet wide. The walls are 45 inches (almost four feet) thick, having facings inside and out of solid stone with adobe and small stones in the center" (saconservation 2). Over the door of the mission was a statue of Mary Immaculate, which is no longer there today (saconservation 2). Today you can still read the inscription of "dedicated to the Blessed Virgin" (saconservation 2). At the base of the towers is a chapel with a single window. There are early fresco paintings on the wall. (saconservation 2)

An upper room that was added after the permanent structure was built, has an interior window opening looking down at the sanctuary. Also the is an exterior window with a window seat and a beautiful view towards the east. At the top of the stairway that leads to this room is a Moorish style arch. (saconservation 2)

The convento wing had several rooms opening onto the Cloisters. "One of those rooms were descried as a library and office. Its ceiling was decorated with a most striking painting which for many years has been referred to as "The Eye of God" (saconservation 2). In July of 1989, the "'Los Compadres' a fund raising group for mission preservation, paid for a conservancy treatment wall art at the missions" (saconservation 3). This Conservancy found that rather the painting being only a picture of an eye it was actually an "entire face with two eyes, a nose, a mouth, a mustache and a goatee! (saconservation 3).

Between 1731 and 1762 there was 792 recorded baptisms of Indians at the Concepcion mission. After the Mission of Concepcion had been in operation for 63 years the mission was (saconservation 3) "partially secularized, some of the farm land and possessions were distributed among the remaining residential Indians. Some few families continued to live there for a time until it was completely secularized in 1824" (saconservation 3). The entire thing was painted with a colored geometric design similar to that painted on the exterior walls of the Mission San Jose. (saconservation 2)

The full name for this Mission is San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo Mission. This mission was the result of the missions for the east moving to south Texas. It was one of the five Spanish missions, it was founded in the early eighteenth century. In 1719 a war between France and Spain broke out. As a result of the war the mission was closed and Father Antonio Margil de Jesus, who was president of Franciscans of the College of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas, went to San Antonio on December 26, 1719, he decided to build a new mission. (tsha 2)

The land was given to a couple of groups of Indians that lived just south of San Antonio. Fathers Agustin Patron and Miguel Nunez de Haro they moved the mission several times because of different reasons. One of the reasons was a epidemic that happened in about 1739. The sickness killed all but about forty-nine Indians after this sickness the mission was moved to it present location. (tsha 2)

The mission was built to get the Indians to become Christians. " Juan Agustin Morfi wrote in the 1780s, Ð''many play the harp, the violin, and the guitar well, sing well, and dance the same dances as the Spaniards" (tsha 2). The Indians were taught "fundamental agricultural technology, notably systematic cultivation of the soil, selective use of seeds, irrigation techniques, use of hydraulic power in a flour mill, and granary storage methods" (tsha

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