San Antonio's Sites: A Guide to Historical Missions

One of the cities that you should visit during your Texas vacation is San Antonio. Things to do for tourists in San Antonio usually include shopping and exploring museums, but for those who are interested in history and religion, it is a must to visit to some of the city's well-known Catholic missions. BBOnline recommends that you make a trip to these historical missions.

The Alamo
300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 225-1391
www.thealamo.org/main.html

The Alamo is considered the most famous of all the historical missions in San Antonio. Things to do for history buffs should include a visit to this magnificent site, because it offers a rare opportunity for tourists to discover the influence of Spanish Catholics on American religious culture. This mission was founded around the beginning of the 1720s, and it is the oldest among the 5 best-known missions in the city. It was originally called the San Antonio de Valero, and it served as the residence of missionaries and Indian converts for almost 70 years. Other than being a mission, the 4.2-acre complex was also the site where the Battle of the Alamo was fought.

Today, the Alamo draws more than 2.5 million visitors every year. Most tourists visit the complex to pay honor to the small band of brave Texans who held out for almost a fortnight against the mighty Centralist Army led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The main features of the complex include The Shrine, the Long Barrack Museum and the Gift Museum, which collectively provide a comprehensive account of the illustrious history of the Alamo through a wide range of exhibits. After exploring all the attractions, you should take a stroll in the splendid Alamo Gardens before you return to your San Antonio Bed and Breakfast.

San Jose
6519 San Jose Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78214

The Mission San Jose is the largest of all the 5 famous missions of San Antonio. Things to do for tourists in the city usually include a visit to this site, because it is regarded as a model for Texas missions that were constructed during the 18th century. The San Jose was established in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus, and it was an impressive structure with stone walls, granary, bastions and a church when it was first completed. It also featured elaborate carvings on its façade and windows. It was so beautiful that the locals started calling it the "Queen of the Missions." The building sustained considerable damage over the years, but extensive efforts have been made to restore it to its former glory. The mission was named a National Historic Site in 1941. To get to Mission San Jose from your San Antonio Inn, you should head south on Roosevelt Avenue. After you pass East White Street, you will see San Jose Drive on your left. This street will lead you to the mission.

The other 3 famous historical missions in the city are the Mission San Juan, Mission Concepcion and Mission Espada, which are all situated along the San Antonio River.