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  • The Alamo
    Mission San Antonio de
    VALERO
  • Mission Concepcion
    Mission
    CONCEPCIÓN
  • Mission San Jose
    Mission
    SAN JOSÉ
  • The Acequia
    The
    and River Systems
    ACEQUIAS
  • Mission San Juan
    Mission
    SAN JUAN
  • Mission Espada
    Mission
    ESPADA

Introduction to the Five Spanish Missions of San Antonio

San Antonio’s five Spanish Missions gained World Heritage status on July 5, 2015, becoming the first site designated in Texas. From 1718 to 1731, priests of the Franciscan Order established the San Antonio Missions. The Spanish government and the Catholic Church sent priests to Texas—then part of New Spain—to settle and protect territory claimed by the Spanish Crown. No permanent Spanish settlements existed in the area prior to the construction of the Missions. The priests were responsible for bringing the indigenous people of the region, nomadic hunter-gatherers known as Coahuiltecans, into the Missions to create viable Spanish communities. The priests sought to make the indigenous people into “gente de razón” (good Spanish citizens) through the following means:

  • Conversion to the Catholic faith
  • Vocational skills such as farming, weaving, and masonry
  • Adoption of Spanish culture and language
  • Spanish provided protection and well-being
  • Engagement in the construction of mission structures and irrigation systems using water from the San Antonio River needed to support the missions and their farmland

Getting to the Missions of San Antonio

What is a Mission?

Explore the Missions

The missions were self-sustaining communities during operation and were built to give Spain a foothold on the Texan frontier. Explore the mission trail below to plan your visit to San Antonio.

Mission San Antonio de Valero

THE ALAMO

THE ALAMO
Explore the Mission

Mission

CONCEPCIÓN

CONCEPCIÓN
Explore the Mission

Mission

SAN JOSÉ

SAN JOSÉ
Explore the Mission

The

ACEQUIAS

and River System

ACEQUIAS
Explore Acequias

Mission

SAN JUAN

SAN JUAN
Explore the Mission

Mission

ESPADA

ESPADA
Explore the Mission
Medallion Path