National Park Getaway: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
December 16, 2009
Filed under National Parks
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – “Remember the Alamo!” Many travelers to San Antonio already do; they know before they arrive that they want to visit this site, which gained fame during the Texas Revolution. They may, however, appreciate a reminder to remember the Alamo’s four sister sites, the missions preserved in the national historical park that bears their name. Mission San Antonio (also known as the Alamo) and the missions Concepcion, San José, San Juan, and Espada were founded in the 1700s. The four missions in the park display Spanish Colonial baroque architecture, exemplified by Mission San José, with its ornate façade and rose window. When visitors enter a mission church, they may feel as if they have stepped back in time. The churches work with remnants of walled pueblos, a reconstruction of a 1794 gristmill, and an 18th-century stone aqueduct to bring the Spanish Colonial period into focus.
The park’s museum and daily tours likewise clarify this chapter of the past. Although people visit San Antonio Missions NHP primarily to discover architecture, art, and history, the park also offers outdoor recreation. The four missions have accessible, short walking paths and a route along the San Antonio River for hiking and bicycling. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves and interprets the largest concentration of Spanish Colonial resources in the country. There is no admission for the park, and it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From National Park Service