• The churches of San Antonio were the heart of the Spanish colonal mission communities.

    San Antonio Missions

    National Historical Park Texas

Mission San Juan

An accessible trail meanders from Mission San Juan to the San Antonio River

Yanaguana Trail along the San Antonio River

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Originally founded in 1716 in eastern Texas, Mission San Juan was transferred in 1731 to its present location. In 1756, the stone church, a friary, and a granary were completed. A larger church was begun, but was abandoned when half complete, the result of population decline.

San Juan was a self-sustaining community. Within the compound, Indian artisans produced iron tools, cloth, and prepared hides. Orchards and gardens outside the walls provided melons, pumpkins, grapes, and peppers. Beyond the mission complex Indian farmers cultivated maize (corn), beans, squash, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane in irrigated fields. Over 20 miles southeast of Mission San Juan was Rancho de Pataguilla, which, in 1762, reported 3,500 sheep and nearly as many cattle.
These products helped support not only the San Antonio missions, but also the local settlements and presidial garrisons in the area. By the mid 1700s, San Juan, with its rich farm and pasturelands, was a regional supplier of agricultural produce. With its surplus, San Juan established a trade network stretching east to Louisiana and south to Coahuila, Mexico. This thriving economy helped the mission to survive epidemics and Indian attacks in its final years.
 
Click here for more information about Mission San Juan. It is located at 9101 Graf Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78214.

Did You Know?

Mission San José grist mill grinds wheat and not corn.

San José's grist mill in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park never ground corn, only wheat? The mill was built late in the mission period; by then the mission Indians had acquired a taste for wheat-based foods. Today the mill is mostly a reproduction, and is in operation five days a week.