Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

My Photo

I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Friday, May 02, 2008

San Antonio Missions

The missions of San Antonio were far more than just churches, they were communities. Each was a fortified village, with its own church, farm, and ranch. Franciscan friars gathered native people, converted them to Catholicism, and taught them to live as Spaniards. (Was this really a good idea??)

Six missions were established along the San Antonio River. Five of them are still in existence. The Alamo was the first and is the most famous today, but I went to visit the other four.

Mission Concepcion

Considered by some to be the oldest unrestored church in the United States.

It's the only one of the missions built with two towers.

Some of the interior rooms show remnants of colorful designs painted over 250 years ago.

Mission San Jose

Known as "Queen of the Missions" for its size, it became the best known of the Texas missions in its day. It has been almost fully restored to its original design.

This is typical of the Romanesque arches found throughout the missions.

There is lots of detail in the statues on the front of the church.

This is the beautiful "Rose Window."

Mission San Juan

In the mid 1700s, Mission San Juan was a regional supplier of agricultural produce, and had 3500 sheep and nearly as many cattle.

Mission Espada

Mission Espada was the only mission to make brick, which is still visible.

The unusual broken arch over the doorway was either a mistake or an artistic intention.


Blogger sally said...

Boy, they sure don't build them like they used to!!!

Great pictures!!

3:09 PM  
Anonymous ofm said...

I loved the missions when I visited them many years ago. I probably shot a hundred pictures on film.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous cousin Linda said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing the photos.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara and Ron said...

I took a bus tour of them a few years ago, but I have to confess what I remember most is that the bus broke down and they had to bring another one.

The missions sure are lovely.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Debbie & Rod said...

We are currently in San Antonio for a few more days. If you're in the area make sure to see the Mariachi Mass at Mission San Jose. It starts at noon but you must get there early to get a seat.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Hi Diana, your pictures of the missions are gorgeous... particularly the one of San Juan, where you captured all the detail in the (slightly ominous) sky but the foreground is still perfectly exposed. Sounds like you are doing well on your own, keep on having fun!
Take care,

1:20 PM  

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