Friday, May 14, 2010

Mission Concepcion, San Antonio, Texas

The Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas, was another stop on our recent travels.  Established in 1716, it was re-located to its present site in 1731 and is the oldest un-restored church in America.  The mission is located at 807 Mission Road.  At its height, around 1762, the mission boasted a population of 207 and had seen 792 baptisms.  It had ceased to exist as an independent mission by the end of the century.

Mission Concepcion

The ruined area to the right contained the living quarters of the Franciscans.

I'm always facinated by arches which were critical to the strength and stability of the structure.  It's too bad the park service finds it necessary to place modern benches and garbage containers in the structure.

The orginal paintings on the interior are very interesting.  Note the steel supporting rod at the top of the photo -- not original equipment.

The church continues to be used today.  It is interesting to see the contrast between the modern greenery and rug and the painting on the plastered walls.

The seating is very old although not, I'm sure, as old as the structure itself.  Note again the arched ceiling necessary for strength.  The dome that can be seen in the first photo covers the altar area at the front of the chapel that you see in this photo.


Cimarron said...

Favorite Texas mission, hands down. That's why I chose Concepcion as my Spanish name in class. I would love to go back and visit again.

Strawberry said...

They actually have an active service in the chapel in the last picture. It was such a beautiful place - architecture is amazing!