Mission San Jose also known as the “Queen of the missions” is a Catholic missing in San Antonio. The Mission San Jose is the largest mission in San Antonio. Just like other missions, Mission San Jose was not a church as most people think. It was actually a community build with the church as its core.

The mission is still active even today as a parish and holds open Mass on Sundays. The mission San Jose is maintained by National Park Service and is a very good reflection of what missions used to be like centuries ago.

Mission San Jose was started way back in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus. During its start the mission only had 350 inhabitants. It was started because the other existing mission, Mission San Antonio de Valero had become overcrowded. The mission quickly developed to become one of the biggest in Texas.

The church which is still used today was constructed in 1768. The mission mostly served Indians who were later given their lands in 1794. The activities in the mission officially ended in 1824 after which the buildings were used as homes for soldiers and also the homeless.

The Works Progress Administration started restoring the mission in 1936 to what it is today. In 2015, the Mission San Jose was declared a world heritage site.

Top Sites and Things to Do

Marvel at the Ancient Architectural Wizadry

The Mission San Jose still holds mass for the public every Sunday but this isn’t the only reason to visit the place. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking architecture that was user centuries ago.

In fact most of the architectural elements used in the buildings on Texas Tech University are borrowed from buildings in the mission.

Some notable architectural elements include:

Rose Window

This is the most notable feature of the church. Also called the La Ventana de Rosa, it is located on the South Walls of the church. It is believed to be where the mission celebrants were shown to the hoat during the feast of Pentecost. A lot of mystery still surrounds this window and the architect that made it.

The Stairway to the Church Bell

This stairway has 25 steps all of which were hand carved from a single live-oak log. The stairway is constructed without any nails or pegs.

Other notable features include the restored defensive walls, a gristmill and a granary supported by flying buttresses amongst others.

Take a Trip Down History

Besides having astounding architectural features and elements, the Mission San Jose is also a place full of history. Taking a trip round the mission tells you so much of what life was like in the 1700s. It is a good trip down history lane. The buildings, the structures, ornamental designs, and everything else has a story to tell.

At the Mission San Jose, visitors and San Antonio residents alike can enjoy worshipping at a place that really takes them back to what life was like before. It is a good place to connect with the maker and revere just how much far things have changed while still just remaining the same.

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