Although there were dozens of missions built in Texas, nothing remains of most of them. In fact, the exact location of many has been lost to time, although there are historical markers indicating their approximate positions.
There are just a few places in Texas that you can see interesting remains or reconstructions of the Spanish missions and presidios.
El Paso Area Missions
The mission buildings in the El Paso area – the far west of Texas – are quite different from the missions of San Antonio and Goliad. They have a distinct “New Mexico” feel.
There are several sites worth seeing in the area:
- Mission Corpus Christi de la Ysleta – the oldest continuously operating parish in the United States.
- Mission Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción de Los Piros de Socorro del Sur – the beautiful mission church – the third on the site – was dedicated in 1843.
- San Elizario Presidio Chapel – the San Elizario Presidio was constructed in 1789. The present chapel was built in 1877.
San Antonio Area Missions
The San Antonio area has the largest concentration of well-preserved and reconstructed mission ruins and reconstructions. In addition to The Alamo, best remembered for the battle in the Texas Revolution, there are several mission sites:
- Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña – a handsome stone church built in 1755. It is considered a perfect example of Spanish colonial architecture.
- Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo) – the current stone structure was built in 1744, but restorations have focussed on restoring the site to its 1800’s appearance.
- Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo – the stone church was constructed from local limestone in 1768. It was restored by the WPA in the 1930s.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano – the long, low adobe building was constructed in 1756.
Goliad Area Missions
Goliad State Historical Park features the beautifully restored Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga and Presidio La Bahia.
Weches Area Missions
Mission Tejas State Park features a reconstruction of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.