There are five Spanish missions in the southern part of Texas, around San Antonio. Unlike their counterparts in California who are build from adobe, Texan Spanish missions are built using local sandstone. The first mission is the Alamo, which became famous for its battle of independence against Mexican troops on March 6, 1836. Some of the missions are owned by the Archdiocese of San Antonio and are still run as active parish by Franciscan Friars who founded them in the early 18th century.
1. Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo)
Founded in 1724, it was moved to the area by the Marquess de Valero, Viceroy of New Spain. On 10 April, 1794 all the Texas missions were secularized by Don Pedro de Nava, commandant-general of the north-eastern interior provinces. On February 23, 1836, General Antonio López de Santa Anna marched against the Texas rebellion and took the Alamo, which was defended by a badly outnumbered Texan militia, after a 13 day siege.
2. Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Conception de Acuna
Originally founded in 1716 and build in Spanish colonial architecture. It was named in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Juan de Acuña, the Marqués de Casafuerte. The Marqués was Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) when the mission transferred to the San Antonio River area.
3. Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo
This mission was founded in the early eighteenth century as a result of a shift of missionary effort from East Texas to South Texas. In 1719 war between France and Spain resulted in the temporary withdrawal of Spanish missionaries from the East Texas missions.
4. The Espada Aqueduct, San Antonio, The River Walk
San Antonio was the largest city in Texas. It was the capital of the Spanish province at the days of the Franciscan missions. The Espada Acequia is a Roman-style aqueduct carrying water from the San Antonio river over a length of 4 miles. Crossing stylishly Piedras Creek, it has run almost continously since its conception in the mid-1700s.
5. Mission San Francisco de la Espada
Founded in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Weches, Texas, this was the first mission in Texas. In 1731, the mission transferred to the San Antonio River area and renamed Mission San Francisco de la Espada. A friary was built in 1745, and the church was completed in 1756.