San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas, USA. These outposts were established by Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local natives.These missions formed part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish Southwest in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
In geographic order from north (upstream of the San Antonio River) to south (downstream) the missions are located as follows: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. The Espada Aqueduct, also part of the Park, is due east of Mission San Juan, across the river.
The fifth (and best known) mission in San Antonio, the Alamo, is not part of the Park, rather it is owned by the State of Texas, and operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas; it is upstream from Mission Concepcion in Downtown San Antonio.
Misión Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña was established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio. Founded by Franciscan friars, this is the best preserved of the Texas missions. Located at 807 Mission Road, Mission Concepcion was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970.
In 2002, Archbishop Patrick Flores appointed Father Jim Rutkowski the archdiocesan administrator of Mission Concepcion. As such, Fr. Rutkowski has been charged with the pastoral duties associated with the operation of the active church congregation. In 2009-10 Las Misiones Foundation began an active, aggressive campaign to restore the interior of the Mission. Work on the interior is expected to be completed in March 2010.
Misión San Francisco de la Espada was established in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Augusta and renamed San Francisco de los Neches in 1721. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio and given its current name. Located on Espada Road, this mission was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972.
Mission San José:
Misión San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established in 1720. Located at 6519 San Jose Drive, it was designated the San Jose Mission National Historic Site in 1941. The historic site was administratively listed on the National Register on October 15, 1966. The church, which is still standing, was constructed in 1768. Mission San Jose was founded by Father Fran Felan.