Mission San Jose
Mission San Jose, San Antonio, TX, USA
Mission San JoséSan José—the largest and most impressive of the San Antonio Missions—has evolved not only into a historic monument, but also a well-preserved part of modern local life. Part visitor center, part parish, part museum, and part natural space, it's operated by both the National Park Service and the church. The community was established in the 1700s by Spanish missionaries, who converted many Native Americans and taught them how to farm and work the land in exchange for protection. Today the buildings and grounds are open to the public for tours, wandering, and worship. The active parish holds a lively and popular Mariachi Mass at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays that's not to be missed. The parks service offers walking tours and a great short film about mission life. If you're feeling energetic, ride a B-Cycle bike to visit all four missions and park it at convenient kiosks placed throughout the parks.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago
San Jose Mission tile
Old tiles on the side wall of the San Jose Mission reflect the Spanish colonial architecture that can be found throughout San Antonio. San Jose is known as the "Queen of Missions" and is the largest one on the trail. Those with time on their hands can hike along the river to visit four of the main historic missions or follow the trail by bike.
about 4 years ago
The largest of the five missions in San Antonio, the Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, was established in 1720 and completed by 1782. Constructed of limestone and brightly hued stucco, the mission church was part of a complex that included a granary and mill—both of which survive—and fields for cultivation and livestock. A 2011, $2.2 million, historically informed renovation restored the sanctuary’s palette of colors, polychrome plasterwork, an altar retablo of saints, and a celebrated rose window. Beyond its decoration and size, the interior possesses an austere restraint that creates a certain timeless quality. The San José mission, like the others except for the Alamo, is an active Catholic parish.