Boasting one of America's Oldest stone churches, Mission Nuestra Sonora de la Purisma Conception was begun in 1731 and the church completed in 1755. The church itself is virtually unchanged since it was constructed, though the surrounding buildings have been vastly overhauled. This is a very small mission when compared to nearby Mission San Jose.
The Franciscans who built Mission Concepción knew what they were doing. By choosing to build on bedrock, they gave their church such a solid foundation that today it still stands, essentailly unaltered from the church they built and decorated with painted frescoes in 1755. After having been covered by a buildup of limewash, paint and dirt over the years, many of the interior frescoes have now been carefully restored and stabilised but other than that the church has seen very little restoration over the years and stands today as the oldest unrestored church in the country.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Acuña was founded on this site in 1731. As the residence of the Father President - the co-ordinator of all the region's missions - it became the main centre for festivals associated with the Christian church as the missionaries worked to win converts to their faith using their own brand of pageantry and ritual to win the hearts and minds of the local people away from their pagan beliefs. The formula worked and Catholic Christianity took a strong hold on the people, so much so that even today the church is the centre of an active parish where some of the parishioners trace their ancestry back to those original converts.
I stopped at Mission Concepcion first on my journey of the National Parks. It was a very quiet stop, as the mission is not very large. You can walk inside the chapel, which is used for current services. There are also a few structures connected to the chapel that you can explore where the library was, the mill/food storage area, and other various rooms.
The area was founded between 1716-1720 by the Spanish. Mission Concepcion was dedicated, or commissioned to be of service to God, in 1755. It is the oldest unrestored stone church in America! In the past there were geometric designs that covered the entire structure but they have since faded in the past 250 years. However, the frescoes in several of the rooms have been restored and are visible. One of the most famous ones (the sun) in the food storage room. Here the Spanish missionaries were trying to convert the Native Americans to Christianity. One of the plaques I found very interesting told how the Spanish friars carefully controlled the lives at the mission. They had a set schedule where the Indians worked, learned vocational skills, and received religious instruction. The goal of this lifestyle was "change"-to change the behavior and religious ideas of the Native Americans. Because of this they also were instrumental in changing their clothing.
Another plaque was interesting because it cautioned taller people, lol. The people of 200 years ago were shorter than some of our population today! I had no problems, of course. :)
I liked this stop because there was a small gift shop run by friendly volunteers/employees of the National Park Service. They have lots of childrens gifts and books written about the area.
Especially fun for those who love photography... Parking is free and there are picnic tables if you would like to have a picnic here. The surrounding area is quite low income and somewhat crime stricken, so there are many warnings to take your valuables with you and to lock you car.
The mission here is open from 9am-5pm and it is FREE to visit!
Mission Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion de Acuna, or Mission Concepcion, was named for Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Juan de Acuna, the Marques de Casafuerte. Originally founded in 1716, in the eastern Texas area to act as a buffer against French incursion on Spanish territory, the mission was moved to its present site in 1731.
This is the least preserved of the missions on the tour, as it is the only of the missions that had never lost its roof. Though the colorful features on the outside are long faded, the architecture still shows strong Spanish influence, along with Moorish and Native American influence. But, four of the rooms at this mission still show some of the colorful frescos that once illuminated these halls. Preservation of these frescoes began in 1988.
This stone church stands as the oldest unrestored stone church in America.
mission concepcion was founded in 1731 and this beautiful stone church dates back to the 1750's. mission concepcion is one of five missions located near the san antonio river south of downtown. these missions are must see sites when in san antonio for those interested in history and architecture.
San Antonio is really the best place in the US to see the colonial missions built by the Spanish to convert the Indians. The four missions are located south of the city. The closest one is Concepcion, which is still an active church.
Mission Concepcion is the 2nd on the mission trail and was named in honor of "Our Lady of the Immaculation Conception." Religious festivals were held here to convert Native Indians to Christianity as in all the missions.
Today it looks similar to how it was 200 years ago. It is the least restored of the San Antonio Missions but is an excellent example of Spanish Colonial architecture. One can still see parts of original wall and ceiling paintings.
All the San Antonio missions were founded more than 200 years ago, they are very well maintained and protected now. They are all quite and romantic places, but it is obvious that a lot of hard work was necessary to get these missions up and running from nothing.
The twin bell towers of Mission Concepcion. Although by law at the time , only one bell was allowed per church.
Mision de la Conception - Mission of the Conception: one of the 4 missions in San Antonio (5 including the Alamo). More info will follow.
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