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Missions of Texas

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Visiting the 17th-century Spanish missions of Texas provides a glimpse into the world of the Franciscan friars whose legacy endures to this day. For the armchair historian, the past comes to life, while younger travelers can imagine the lives of larger than life figures like Davy Crockett and James Bowie, legendary defenders of the Alamo—added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites this year.
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131 S Zaragoza Rd, El Paso, TX 79907, USA
The Ysleta Mission was the first mission established in Texas and has the distinction of being the second oldest continually active parish in the United States. Like the other missions that comprise the El Paso Mission Trail, the Yselta Mission,...
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328 S Nevarez Rd, Socorro, TX 79927, USA
Like the Yselta Mission, the Socorro Mission, whose original structure was completed in 1691, is one of the oldest mission churches in the Southwest. On the El Paso Mission Trail, the current building reflects Spanish, Indian, and Mission...
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1556 San Elizario Rd, San Elizario, TX 79849, USA
Established by the Spanish in 1789 as part of a presidio (or military garrison), the current Chapel of San Elceario served soldiers—and their families—assigned to the fort. As such, it wasn’t a mission per se but it is still an interesting...
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120 Park Rd 44, Grapeland, TX 75844, USA
Although the Spanish began exploring what is present-day Texas as early as the sixteenth century, within 30 years of Columbus’s arrival in the New World, it wasn’t until 1690 that the Spanish established their first mission church, San Francisco...
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108 Park Rd 6, Goliad, TX 77963, USA
The Mission Espíritu Santo State Historic Site, a reconstruction of the mid-eighteenth century Franciscan church Nuestra Señora de Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, draws a broad picture of colonial missionary life and, along with the nearby Presidio La...
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217 US-183, Goliad, TX 77963, USA
Like the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Bahia del Espíritu Santo, the chapel at the fort of La Bahía was founded in 1749. The chapel served the garrison soldiers and their families and, also like the mission church, was built of stone and mortar in...
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300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
You haven’t truly experienced Texas until you’ve visited the hallowed grounds of the Alamo. Established in 1718 as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the building is best known as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, a 13-day...
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Mission San Jose, San Antonio, TX, USA
San 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...
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9101 Graf Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214, USA
Of San Antonio's five missions, San Juan Capistrano, named for the 15th-century Franciscan friar and theologian, is perhaps the most unusual in appearance with its intimate chapel sanctuary and its distinctive belfry of triple arches set along the...
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807 Mission Rd, San Antonio, TX 78210, USA
Of San Antonio’s five mission churches, the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña resembles most closely its appearance at the time it was built (in 1755) and provides visitors a sense of the carefully considered scale and...
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10040 Espada Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214, USA
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