Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mission Concepción

Our U.S. National Park Service is turning 100 on August 25th.  According to their special centennial website: "We invite you to find your park and discover the national parks and programs in your own backyard!"

Well, that's easy.  Sharing the beautiful sights of San Antonio is one of my favorite blog activities, so what better way to celebrate than to take their advice and visit my nearest national park.  The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park comprises four Spanish missions established along the San Antonio River in the early 18th Century.  The fifth mission, The Alamo, is managed by the State of Texas and is not part of the national park.  Founded in 1716 by Franciscan Friars, Mission Concepción is the most easily accessed of the four since it stands closest to downtown.

Dedicated in 1755 the main church building is just a few years younger and very similar in style to San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio.

On the Feast day of Assumption the ocular window over the door directs a beam of sunlight into the exact center of the cross-shaped church.

For nearly three centuries a crowd has gathered to see the light every August 15th.

The restored fresco ceiling and dome mark the spot from overhead.

An iron scrollwork lantern with brightly colored glass lights the side of the altar.

Frescoes left unrestored in a niche add to the sense of history.

Decorative details on a side corridor which leads outside again.

Stone archway connects buildings.

Along side the church walls are very fortress-like.

A few of the original working buildings remain.

We visited the stone grotto on the grounds.

Since this is a garden blog after all....

Karst stones commonly found in my northside neighborhood look remarkably like catacombs.

The sign reminds visitors to be respectful of the grotto.

Another look back at the church framed by oaks against our typically bright blue sky.

This view from the nearby road is the one residents see while heading to work or running errands.

Just another beautiful day sightseeing in my backyard.  Next up Romantic Mission San Jose, and to see my visit to Mission Espada last fall click here.


  1. I'm impressed by how well the mission has been maintained. It looks old but well loved. Your photo of the stone stairway caught the light perfectly.

    1. Thank you Chris. The missions continue as parish churches making them some of the longest serving congregations. I've visited quite a few national parks but don't remember seeing anything like this in terms of the buildings still being used for their original purpose.

  2. Just lovely! Both the mission and your photos of it. I always enjoy your posts about the interesting places in our city. Incidentally, I heard about a fairly new city bus service that will drop us off at the missions, parks and museums and then pick us up again.

    1. I couldn't find a website for a bus that does both yet. There is a museum bus that goes from downtown to Broadway and Via bus 42 goes to all the missions except Espada.

  3. Visions of San Antonio keep piling lovely.

    1. Plus we keep adding fun and interesting places.

  4. When I visited San Antonio in, oh, 1997 (?) we visited several missions, I thought perhaps this one would seem familiar but it doesn't. Then again that was a long time ago!


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