Mission San Jose in San Antonio

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Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo – the “Queen of Missions”. This was my favorite stop on the trolley tour when I was in San Antonio at the end of April.

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The Mission grounds with it’s massive stone walls were built for defense of the community that lived on the grounds.

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San José, as it became known, was the largest of the missions in the area. At its height, the community contained about 350 Indian neophytes, sustained by extensive fields and herds of livestock. Viewed as the model among the Texas missions, San José gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. It became known as the “Queen of the Missions.” Its imposing complex of stone walls, bastions, granary, and magnificent church was completed by 1782.

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Along the walls were 84 two room humble apartments for the Indian residents.

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Fine carvings on the facade of Mission San José Church gave it the title, “Queen of the Missions”.

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La Ventana de Rosa, the Rose Window, is located on the south wall of the church sacristy. The window has been described as the site where the Host was shown to gathered mission celebrants during the Feast of Pentecost.

The window, sculpted ca. 1775, has been the object of both legend and admiration. It is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. The meaning behind the name is currently unknown, but legend has it named for Rosa, the betrothed of Juan Huizar who many believe created the window.

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trolley tour 060Much of what is visible today at Mission San José was reconstructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. The Archdiocese of San Antonio and San José parish are responsible for any maintenance and preservation work needed on the church structure itself. About 80% of the church is original. The National Park Service, with help from taxpayers and the park’s friends group, Los Compadres, is responsible for the the extant structures and historical landscape.

ht: National Park Service

I’m linking this post to Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveler and to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and a team of ABC’ers. S is for San Jose, San Antonio, San Miquel de Aguayo and Stone Walls.

If you want to read more about this treasure click the National Park Service link above. I have more posts to share from my time in San Antonio.

We are in a cooler pattern this week in the Seattle area with some light rain which is more typical for this time of year. It’s nice not to have to water my plants. What’s going on in your corner of the world?

27 thoughts on “Mission San Jose in San Antonio

    • Ha! Don’t give us too much credit. Dear was sent there to man a booth at an oncology conference. I go along as the accidental tourist. I love trolley tours that take you to all the major sites to see…
      Blogging has taught me that there are beautiful things to see everywhere and around the corner…

  1. Oh, I just loved looking through your Mission photos. They’re beautiful and so interesting to me. There’s that cross amongst the flowers too!

  2. Wonderful photos of amazing sites. I’m partial to arches and there were plenty to see in your amazing photos. I’m glad I happened to come by and visit!

  3. Beautiful pictures and memories — I really do remember this Mission very well; we really enjoyed our tour of it. When we stayed there, our RV Park was on the bus line and also we were able to ride our bikes to so many places, including this one. We loved it. (That was quite a few years ago, we’d never be able to ride bikes that far now.)

  4. It is a beautiful mission and has many scenes for inviting photos. I like the arches and the doorways leading on to more doorways…

  5. I shall have to add this mission to my “must see” list. Growing up in California all 4th grade students extensively study the CA missions and then must build a model of one. Mine was made from sugar cubes. 🙂

    • I went to school in California, too, and I’ve been to a few of the California missions like San Gabriel, San Buenaventura, Capistrano, etc. All very nice. This one in San Antonio is definitely the “Queen of Missions”.

  6. Oh my goodness! I had now idea the extent of this Mission. Truly fantastic.

    My daughter lives in Ritzville so we are there a lot. The town of Benge is on the Benge-Ritzville road.
    MB

  7. Wow! This is spectacular! Very European in its architecture (Spanish) and it’s one place I’ve always wanted to see.

    Leslie
    abcw team

  8. Most interesting Ellen and fab photo’s.
    Your neck must have ached having to aim
    your lens to such high structures.

    Love Di.
    ABCW team,

  9. I like the way your tell us about this old church and the story of the Rosa Window.
    The church is so interesting and mysterious! Thank you.
    Have a nice week. We had a week with exceptionally warm weather followed by some rainy days with short showers. Today was very good.
    Wil, ABCW Team

  10. Well captured Ellen, thank you for taking me on this trip…. seems like a wonderful place to walk around, ofcouse in silence and respect but i sure would love to.

    Have a nice ABC-Wednes-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  11. We took the Missions Tour years ago when our kids were little…Now, I want to do it again..think we will go in the summer…

  12. Fantastic photos of this amazing place, Ellen! So much to see and enjoy in the architecture and learning from the past. I thoroughly enjoyed your post!

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