San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Historical Park and element of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Catholic religious orders founded these outposts to spread Christianity among local indigenous peoples. Such missions were part of a program of colonization that extended across the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries throughout the Spanish Southwest. The missions are located in geographical order from north (upstream of the San Antonio River) to south (downstream) as follows: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada; It is due east of Mission San Juan, across the canal, to the Espada Aqueduct, also part of the Park. On 5 July 2015, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Alamo Mission in San Antonio.
Far from being cast in stone, Mission Concepción is at present used both as an active parish and as part of the National Historical Park of San Antonio Missions. The park comprises two other places included in the National Register of Historic Places namely the Ethel Wilson Harris House and the Espada Aqueduct.
Through the Trust’s HOPE Crew project, representatives of the Texas Conservation Corps have collaborated on numerous structures throughout the park: restoring the post-Colonial Tufa Home, and working as masonry apprentices on several of the park’s iconic mission buildings. This work was achieved by grants from the National Park Service and the non-profit organization Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions, the officially chartered community of Friends in the park.
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park may be structured differently from other parks that you visited. The park has four different areas for visitors, each 2-3 miles from the previous one. Mission Concepción begins 3 miles to the south of downtown San Antonio. Mission San José, the site of the Visitor Center in the park, is another 21⁄2 miles away. Mission San Juan and Spanish colonial demonstration farm are located three miles beyond Mission San José. Mission Espada is the last, and farthest south.
When visiting San Antonio Missions tourists receive two cancelation stamps. One is for the park, and the other for the National Historic Trail of El Camino Real de los Tejas on which all missions are situated. Those two stamps bear all the missions. Cancelation stamps are not available by mail. Additionally, each mission bears its own decorative stamp. All four of the colorful mission stamps are in the Visitor Centre.
Tourist amenities at Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose are open daily from 9:00 am-5:00 pm seven days a week. As staff allows, contact stations at Mission San Juan and Mission Espada are usually available from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. All sites are not open during Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Mission San José Visitor Center includes the 20-minute explanatory video, the bookstore, display areas, and information desk for rangers. For park detail, visit the Visitor Center or pick up your Junior Ranger booklet.
This amazing attraction is located in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, along with these other must-see attractions for you to check out:
The San Antonio River Walk
San Fernando Cathedral
Natural Bridge Caverns
Pearl District and Farmers Market
Historic Market Square (El Mercado)
Japanese Tea Garden
San Antonio Museum of Art
And after your visit make sure to stop by the best CBD Store in Helotes, Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary, on Bandera Road!