San Antonio, Texas
Mission San José

photo: January 2000

Call the "Queen of the Missions," Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was founded in 1720 by the prominent Franciscan Missionary, Father Antonio Margil de Jesús. It was named for St. Joseph and the then governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas, the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo.

Mission San José is a walled fortress on the banks of the San Antonio River about two miles south of Mission Concepción. Call the "Queen of Missions" because of its imposing size, structure and grandness of its church, it once was the center piece of a community that numbered 300 Indians. The Arab influence on Spanish architecture is very evident in the overall appearance of the mission. As you walk around inside the Mission walls you can see, among other things, the chambers where the Indians lived and their outdoor cooking ovens. A model of the mission as it appeared after completion is in a room across from the main entrance to the church. Restoration is continuing and ongoing. And, like Mission Concepción, it is an active church and parish. It is worth a visit.

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