San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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|San Antonio Missions
National Historical Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||San Antonio, Texas, USA|
|Nearest city||San Antonio, TX|
|Area||826 acres (334 ha)
460 acres (190 ha) federal
|Established||April 1, 1983|
|Visitors||568,021 (in 2011)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas, USA. These outposts were established by Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local natives. These missions formed part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish Southwest in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
In geographic order from north (upstream of the San Antonio River) to south (downstream) the missions are located as follows: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. The Espada Aqueduct, also part of the Park, is due east of Mission San Juan, across the river. The fifth (and best known) mission in San Antonio, the Alamo, is not part of the Park, rather it is owned by the State of Texas, and operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas; it is upstream from Mission Concepcion in Downtown San Antonio.
Administrative history 
The park was originally established in 1975 as the Mission Parkway on the National Register of Historic Places encompassing 84 separate historical sites along the San Antonio River on the southern side of the city of San Antonio. Within his listing, the National Historical Park was authorized on November 10, 1978. It was established on April 1, 1983, containing many cultural sites along with some natural areas. Portions of the four missions are owned by the Archdiocese of San Antonio and are still run as active parishes.
Mission Concepción 
Misión Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña was established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio. Founded by Franciscan friars, this is the best preserved of the Texas missions. Located at 807 Mission Road, Mission Concepcion was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970.
In 2002, Archbishop Patrick Flores appointed Father Jim Rutkowski the archdiocesan administrator of Mission Concepcion. As such, Fr. Rutkowski has been charged with the pastoral duties associated with the operation of the active church congregation. In 2009-10 Las Misiones Foundation began an active, aggressive campaign to restore the interior of the Mission. Work on the interior is expected to be completed in March 2010. Fr. Rutkowski continues to offer Sunday Mass regularly for the Mission community.
Mission Espada 
Misión San Francisco de la Espada was established in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Augusta. and renamed San Francisco de los Neches in 1721. The mission was moved in 1731 to San Antonio and given its current name. Located on Espada Road, this mission was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972.
Mission San José 
Misión San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established in 1720. Located at 6519 San Jose Drive, it was designated the San Jose Mission National Historic Site in 1941. The historic site was administratively listed on the National Register on October 15, 1966. The church, which is still standing, was constructed in 1768. Mission San Jose was founded by Father Fran Felan.
The park's visitor center is located adjacent.
- Other missions bearing the name San José include the Mission San José located in Fremont, California, and the Misión San Jose de Comondú in Baja California Sur.
Mission San Juan Capistrano 
Misión San Juan Capistrano was established in 1716 as Misión San Jose de los Nazonis in East Texas. The mission was renamed and moved in 1731 to San Antonio. Located on Mission Road, San Juan was listed on the National Register on February 23, 1972.
- Another mission bearing the name San Juan Capistrano is the Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Additional locations 
The Park includes two other locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Espada Aqueduct, which was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1964, and the Ethel Wilson Harris House, listed in 2001.
See also 
- "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Texas Historical Commission
- The National Parks: Index 2001–2003. Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park|
- Official NPS website: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- Mission Concepcion NHL information
- San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence in Texas, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
- Mission Conception parish
- Mission San Francisco de la Espada parish
- Mission San Jose parish
- Mission San Juan Capistrano parish
- Mission Conception from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Mission San Jose from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Alamo and San Antonio Missions San Antonio Conventions and Visitors Bureau