Beginning in 1690 six missions were established in an area which is now East Texas. During the early 1700 four of these missions were relocated to locations along the San Antonio River. During the 1780 walls were built around the missions due to attacks from the Apache and Comanche Indians. living quarters were built inside the walls while farms and ranches were outside.
Life in these communities was centered around the church. Mission efforts were carried out by the Franciscans – their task was to spread Christianity and to increase Spanish influence throughout the area.
The MISSIONS NATIONAL PARK is made up of four Spanish frontier missions:
Mission Espada established in 1690
Mission Concepcion established in 1716
Mission San Jose established in 1720
Mission San Jaun Capistrano established in 1731
These four missions are operated by the National Park Service and run along 7.7 mile stretch, along the San Antonio River, known as The Mission Parkway. The Archdiocese of San Antonio own portions of these four missions and still are run as active parishes.
In additions to these there is a fifth mission established in 1718. This mission was named Mission San Antonio de Vellero and later became know as The Alamo. The Alamo is owned by the State of Texas and operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The Alamo was the site in 1836 where during the Texas War of Independence 180 defenders fought off over 2,000 Mexican soldiers, lead by General San Anna, for 13 days before finally being defeated. The Alamo became the American symbol of patriotic sacrifice. For Texans it became the symbol of our pride in The Lone Star State.
You may go to Hell, and I will go to Texas……… Davy Crockett