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San Antonio Missions National Historical Park


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Three centuries ago, Spain's territorial claims to lands north and west of the Gulf of Mexico were tenuous at best. The fertile plains of what is now southern Texas lay on the outer frontier of a far-flung colonial empire, and here Spanish civilization had yet to gain a foothold. It was a two-week ride for Franciscan fathers to get from their northernmost settlements to the headwaters of the San Antonio River, where these fathers chose to establish the first of five missions.

Representing both church and state, these missions were tasked with converting the local natives into devout Catholics loyal to the Spanish Crown. As such, these missions served as pioneer vocational education centers, great economic enterprises involved in both agricultural and livestock production, and active participants in the developing trade of the region. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park explores these historic places from every aspect: history, architecture, how they aged, and how they have been restored. It prepares you for your visit, or reinforces with more detail information learned during a past visit. 48 pages.

  • By Luis Torres
  • Paper
  • Trim size: 8.5" x 11"
  • ISBN: 978-1583692011


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