Monday, April 28, 2014

Postcard from... San Antonio, USA

Mission San José y San Miquel de Aquayo (or the San José Mission for short) is one of the five missions on the Mission Trail in San Antonio, Texas. It was founded in February of 1720 when another neighboring mission became overcrowded. These Spanish missions were not churches, but really communities with the church at the heart of them. Mission San José served the Coahuiltecan Indians and began with buildings made of brush, straw, and mud. These were quickly replaced with large stone structures and a heavy outer wall was built around the main part.

As part of this mission a church was built in 1768 and it is still standing, although most of the mission was restored in the 1930's. Then in 2011 it again underwent a historically accurate renovation whereby the interior domes and walls were repainted to match the original colours and the alter backdrop was also restored.

L and I had the opportunity to visit all five of the missions on the Mission Trail this past January, and while the Alamo is certainly the most famous of them all I'd say this one was my favourite. In addition to a Visitor's Center with some exhibits and a short film about mission life that we watched, we really just strolled around enjoying the architecture and reading about some of the history.

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