Best reasons to visit each of the San Antonio Missions

For starters, its free and socially-distant fun

Mission San José at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Live From the Southside)

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and Live From the Southside, a new local- and Latina-owned magazine that works to improve & expand community relationships through promoting events, stories and businesses.

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was designed to protect and preserve four Spanish frontier missions: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada.

The park, which is open and operating with social distancing measures in place, is free and an official unit of the National Park Service. The outposts of the missions were established by Franciscan friars, in order to spread Christianity knowledge to the region’s Native Americans. When first built, each mission complex featured things like churches, housing establishments, farm fields, granaries, irrigation systems, livestock and workshops for carpentry, masonry, spinning/weaving and toolmaking.

Here are some really great reasons to check out the San Antonio Missions on the South Side.

Mission Concepción

Mission Concepcion was first built along the Angelina River, located just northwest of Laneville in Rusk County, in 1716. It was later moved to San Antonio in 1731. On October 28, 1835, the grounds were the location of the Battle of Concepcion, between Mexican troops and Texian insurgents. The church, built in the shape of a cross in 1755, is the oldest, unrestored stone church in the United States.

Mission Concepcion (National Park Service)

Mission San José