San Antonio Missions #5 – Missions Espada

Aug 01

San Antonio Missions #5 – Missions Espada

Mission San Francisco de la Espada is our last mission in the San Antonio area to visit. You can catch up with visits to other missions by following the links:

Mission San Jose

Mission Concepcion

The Alamo

Mission San Juan Capistrano

This mission is another beautiful and peaceful place at the end of the Mission Trail section of the San Antonio Riverwalk. The mission is mostly ruins, but there’s plenty of shade along the path that winds around the mission ruins. There’s several partial walls standing and the entrance. There’s even a few fireplaces standing. This mission and the ruins reminded us of a ruined castle we visited often when stationed in Germany. The castle was in Landstuhl near the military hospital. We’d often drive there, park in a church parking lot at the base of the hill, and climb to the castle ruins. We were often the only people there, often camping during the weekends. The fireplace and the ruined walls at Espada brought back several good memories of camping at Castle Landstuhl.

Mission Espada was the first mission established in Texas. It was founded in 1690 and its original name was San Francisco de las Tejas. It was moved several times and ended up in the present location in San Antonio in 1731.

The church building is currently being renovated (as of July 2014) so we toured the grounds and then walked on the Riverwalk.

The San Antonio Riverwalk’s Mission Trail ends at Mission Espada. It’s a nice walk, but there’s little shade. There’s a picnic area under the 410 bridge and an entry point for the paddling trail, used by several kayakers and paddlers on a hot summer afternoon. We also saw a few people fishing in this area.

This mission was one of my favorites along with Mission Concepcion. It’s peaceful and far enough away from the city it’s hard to imagine downtown isn’t that far away. Even the busy 410 interstate can’t be heard from the mission grounds.

A few photos are below, but you can see them all in our DropBox album.

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