Spanish Missions of San Antonio

Spanish missions helped form the foundation for the city of San Antonio. The modern San Antonio community early recognized their significance, and since the 1920’s, has worked to preserve them. Darlene spent an entire day photographing three of the five San Antonio Missions, namely , and Espada. The fourth, Conception was closed (the fifth being The Alamo). Our RV Park, the Braunig Lake RV Resort, was on the south side of San Antonio, placing the Spanish missions between us and downtown.

The chain of Spanish missions established along the San Antonio river began in 1718 with San Antonio de Valero, later called the Alamo. A second mission, San Jose, began in 1720 and then as East Texas missions failed for various reasons, they too were moved to the San Antonio river valley in 1731. These five missions, a presidio and a settlement were eventually to become one of the most successful Spanish communities in Texas.

Mission San Antonio de Valero

the chapel at the Alamo
the chapel at the Alamo known as "the shrine"

Commonly called the Alamo, mission San Antonio de Valero was founded in 1718, the first mission on the San Antonio River. Now a state historic site, the Alamo has been under the care of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas since 1905. We visited the Alamo on our first day in San Antonio.


San Antonio Spanish Mission Espada

Founded as San Francisco de los Tejas in 1690, the oldest of the East Texas missions was moved to the San Antonio River in 1731 and renamed San Francisco de la Espada.

Espada School Founded 1731

Mission Espada doorway

Mission Espada broken arch

Mission Espada Tonemapped window photograph

Window at the Spanish Mission Espada

Window in stone

doorway in stone

Mission Window from inside HDR Photography
An HDR Photograph combining multiple exposures from within Mission Espada

Inside the Spanish Mission Espada

shadows across wall from roof

HDR Photograph of Espada Mission in San Antonio

The Espada Mission is the Southernmost of the San Antonio chain of missions that run along the river south of the city lying just south of the 410 ring road.

This is a three part post on the Spanish Missions of San Antonio.

See the next mission, the .

Page 2 – San Antonio Missions – San Juan

7 thoughts on “Spanish Missions of San Antonio”

  1. Darlene, the pictures of the Spanish missions in San Antonio left me speechless ! I liked the atmosphere and texture and well…everything, really, about them! What a beautiful and informative post !

  2. OH MY!! those green fern looking things look like they’re moving around and going to jump out and catch me if i walk by..hehe.

    Gorgeous photography! When you get back we’ll have to go on a photo date walk together 🙂

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