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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

San Antonio Missions Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

San Antonio might be best known for its River Walk, but one of my favorite outings in the city is the opportunity to bike to the Spanish colonial Missions. My personal favorite of the five is Concepción, built in 1731.  The crumbling lime stone exterior, which leads to a still operable church, is incredibly photogenic, especially with the early morning sunshine pouring down. Afterwards, I bike down Mission Road 3 miles to reach the largest mission, San José, known for its popular Mariachi Mass each Sunday. At its height, the missions would hold close to 300 people, working as a church, farm, and ranch. Franciscan friars gathered the native population, converted them to Catholicism, and taught them to live like Spaniards. At Mission San José, you can still see the small living quarters that surround the square layout. Inside the stone walls, overlooking the green and the church, the setting is serene. Now the world will get to know these majestic structures, thanks to the news on Sunday that the San Antonio missions were chosen as one of the latest UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s a perfect time to view the largest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in America.

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/08/15 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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