Mission Concepcion was established in 1731 and is located approximately three miles south of San Antonio, Texas. The mission appears very much as it did when it was constructed. Currently it is the oldest unrestored stone church in America.
Mission Concepcion is a designated National Historic Landmark and is part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. In 2015 it was designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site that encompasses a group of five frontier mission complexes located along the San Antonio River in southern Texas.
The mission compound included the church, living quarters, a plaza and a perimeter around the grounds. The complex was a self-sufficient with a water well, a granary and animal pins within the protective inner walls. The complex was surrounded by farmland where crops was raised to support the estimated 300 people that lived at the mission.
The main building in the complex was the of course the church. The mission is still a functioning parish with services every Sunday morning.
One of the features that I found to be the most interesting was the twin bell towers on each side of the main entrance door. These towers make the worship building look much more significant.
Between the two towers is the church main entrance door with an interesting triangle shape above the door and an elaborately designed cross centered above the door.
The other noteworthy feature of the church is the dome that is located at the center of the church. This type of dome is typical for churches built during the time period however each dome is unique to the church.
I always enjoy visiting historical sites whether I am traveling around the world or near my home. There is just something about seeing places from the past that captivates my attention and my imagination.
I enjoyed seeing the architecture of the mission but most of all I enjoyed being able to visualize life for the people that lived at the mission during the time when the mission was established. Walking through the mission complex it is evident that it was a much simpler time but I can also see the struggles of the people that lived during those times.