Mission San José in San Antonio was founded in 1720, one of five mission communities formed along the San Antonio River at the northern frontier of New Spain, a territory of the Spanish Empire. These Spanish colonial missions aimed to transform local ways of life by introducing Christianity, farming, and settled communities.
Living quarters for indigenous people and the odd soldier were built within the mission, against the compound walls. The church was the focal point and the missionary lived next to it. Workshops and storerooms dotted the central grounds. Outside the walls were croplands and ranches.
The land became part of Mexico in 1821 after the Mexican war of independence, then part of Texas in 1836 after the Texan war of independence, and Texas was annexed to USA in 1845.
Today the mission is much restored and provides a historic and photogenic visitor attraction. Here’s a small selection from our visit. Click to see slideshow.