In the 17th century, Texas, along with most of the southern part of what is now the United States from Florida to California, belonged to the sprawling Spanish Empire. Since France possessed modern-day Louisiana and showed a keen desire to expand her territories at Spain’s expense, the Spanish Crown decided to establish six missions along the San Antonio River to stop the French.
The missions served as forts, schools, villages, farms and ranches. The Franciscan friars converted the native Coahuilans to Catholicism and taught them to behave as Spaniards. The missions also helped maintain Spanish control over the frontier.
Five of those missions thrived and can be visited following the Mission Trail signposts around the city of San Antonio. Four of the churches are still active parish churches. When we visited the Missions, there were weddings at two of them!
Photos: Ana O’Reilly
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4 comments for “Spanish Missions in San Antonio, Texas”
The other day I was looking for information about Spanish missions outside California. Thanks for sharing this. I have been to San Antonio but didn’t know about the mission trail.
I didn’t know about them either the first time we went to San Antonio. Glad you find this useful 🙂
I haven’t been to the one in San Antonio, but I find Spanish missions really interesting. I have visited a few in South America, but the one I really want to see is in Misiones, Argentina.
San Ignacio Mini is the best known of all. I haven’t been there myself either but I hear the Jesuit missions are beatiful.