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[photo] [photo] Mission Concepción
National Park Service photos
During the 18th century, the Spanish established a chain of missions along the San Antonio River. These missions became the foundation for the city of San Antonio. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, administered by the National Park Service, incorporates four 18th-century missions and their acequias, or irrigation systems. The Mission Trail extends eight miles and connects these historic places. The goal of the missions was to spread the Catholic faith among the native inhabitants and to serve as a buffer against expansion by foreign invaders. The missions were primarily religious centers where the Coahuiltecan Indian population was instructed in the Catholic religion and taught European beliefs.

Mission Concepción (Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepción de Acuna) was constructed c.1740 to 1755. The church building remains in essentially original condition and is the oldest unreconstructed stone church in the United States. The interior wall paintings in the convento (missionary quarters), depicting religious symbols, architectural elements, and geometric patterns, are rare surviving elements from this early mission period.

Mission Concepción, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 807 Mission Rd. in San Antonio administered by San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The Visitor Center is open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Call 210-534-8833 or 210-932-1001 for further information. Maps for the Mission Trail are available at the San Antonio Visitor Center, 317 Alamo Park. Mission Concepción has also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Mission Concepción, within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, is the subject of an online-lesson plan produced by Teaching with Historic Places, a National Register program that offers classroom-ready lesson plans on properties listed in the National Register. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places home page. Other travel itineraries in the National Park Service's ongoing series include many historic destinations that you can visit online or in person. Each Discover Our Shared Heritage itinerary spotlights a different geographic region, community, or theme.



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