I’m ashamed to say it took many years for me to finally tour the San Antonio Missions. Once there, I wished that I hadn’t taken these architectural treasures for granted for so long. Even those with little fascination for history are struck by the incredible resilience of these structures and the people who lived and worshiped in them.
“The legacy and history of San Antonio and this region began with a simple ceremony when in 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. Within 13 years, five were located along the San Antonio River. The missions’ purpose? To acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Today, visitors can retrace the footsteps of the mission Indians and friars. And, possibly, meet descendants of those first inhabitants.” (The National Park Service Website)
If you plan to take the guided tours of the missions, set aside a day and wear good walking shoes. The entry fees and tours are free and fascinating. We spent most of our time at Mission San Jose where the structures are more fully restored and the Visitor’s Center is located. I’d definitely suggest that if your time is limited, you begin there.
Oh, and this time of year, you’ll want to pack some cool water to take along. We thought that stopping off at Taco Haven for one of their sensational Mexican food breakfasts, was the perfect way to start our long day. Taco Haven is just south of downtown and is practically historic, too! I know you’ll forgive me for “pitching” one of our $5Dining restaurants once you’ve tried the good food there.