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.
The Mission grounds with it’s massive stone walls were built for defense of the community that lived on the grounds.
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.
Along the walls were 84 two room humble apartments for the Indian residents.
Fine carvings on the facade of Mission San José Church gave it the title, “Queen of the Missions”.
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.
Much 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.
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?