Alamo & Missions

In the 18th century, the Spanish church 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 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 – much modified but firmly fixed in the minds of camera-toting history buffs as the scene of a battle that helped secure Texas’ independence from Mexico.

The Alamo
The first mission established in San Antonio, the Alamo (San Antonio de Valero) served as a way station between east Texas and Mexico. Already 100 years old when it fell in the notorious Battle of the Alamo, you'll find in the heart of the city the often-photographed church façade, as well as relics in the Long Barrack Museum.

Mission Concepcion
Arguably the most beautiful mission, Concepcion looks much like it did almost three centuries ago.



Mission Espada
Mission Espada contains the best-preserved segment of the acequia (irrigation system) that was used to bring water to the fields.


Mission San Jose
Established in 1720, it became known as the "Queen of the Missions" for its grand design of stone walls, bastions and magnificent church.


Mission San Juan
Mission San Juan's fertile farmlands allowed it to be self-sustainable; its chapel and bell tower are still in use today.


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