Go Back In Time At Mission San José
Published on: November 14th, 2022
Texas is filled with historical sites and settings for pivotal moments in time, and there’s no shortage of historical landmarks around San Antonio. In fact, there are five missions around the city designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. While visitors come from around the world to see the Alamo, there’s more to the city’s mission history, and there’s another, larger site just a few miles south of the Alamo Plaza. If you’d like to take a look back hundreds of years into the past, plan your visit to Mission San José.
Centuries of History
Mission San José was officially founded in 1720, and the site is now more than 300 years old. Although mission operations ceased there in 1824, much of the site is intact or rebuilt to offer a glimpse into the past. After you enter through the front gate, you’ll see that the outer walls are lined with small dwellings that housed more than 300 people during the height of the mission’s activity. You’ll also see the remnants of the old convent, with archways still standing beside the ornate church. On the other side of the sanctuary, you’ll find more living quarters as well as a long storehouse with a scale model of the mission. The stories and circumstances within the mission’s walls and throughout colonial-era Texas are complicated and often challenging, but they’ve all had a role in forming the culture and makeup of modern Texas.
The Rose Window
Among the most striking architectural features at Mission San José is the Rose Window, or La Ventana de Rosa. The beautifully crafted frame is considered one of the finest examples of Baroque design in the U.S., but not much is certain about the artists’ own story. Spanish carpenter Pedro Huizar is believed to be the craftsman behind the window, which was created in honor of a sweetheart, Rosa, who was expected to arrive from Europe but never reached him.
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The Visitor Center at Mission San José is located at 6701 San Jose Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78214. From there, you can join a guided tour or explore the site at your own pace. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
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