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Mission Espada, San Antonio

4.7
#8 of 27 in Historic Sites in San Antonio
Mission · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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One of the missions within the UNESCO-designated San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the first Spanish mission in Texas, Mission Espada showcases a well-preserved acequia, a centuries-old irrigation system. Observe the still-functioning aqueduct and dam, which have been transferring water from the San Antonio River to the mission since their construction between 1731 and 1740. Also, check out the irregular arch of the church doorway, which some theorize to be a Moorish design feature and others just a mishap in construction. By using our San Antonio trip planning app, you can arrange your visit to Mission Espada and other attractions in San Antonio.
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Mission Espada reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
476 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We started here since it took the longest to get to from downtown. Go early because it gets hot out and doesn’t take long to see everything there. 
    We started here since it took the longest to get to from downtown. Go early because it gets hot out and doesn’t take long to see everything there.  more »
  • This was my favourite out the missions we visited. It was just so peaceful and pretty. Wish the church would have been open so we could have went inside. Lots of green plants and flowers made this... 
    This was my favourite out the missions we visited. It was just so peaceful and pretty. Wish the church would have been open so we could have went inside. Lots of green plants and flowers made this...  more »
Google
  • Mission Espada was founded in 1731 when the area was New Spain and is one of the four San Antonio Missions that belong to NPS that you can see. It is still an active Catholic Church as well. All four missions are beautiful and for all the similarities, each is very unique. Of the four, this one is in the most ruins. It is just incredible to stand there looking around on a hot, humid Texas September day and think about the people that lived here. Bathrooms are available to the right after you enter the mission from the visitor entrance. Paths are paved and easy to walk. Just be aware some of the edges can be a bit jagged, so watch your step. The mission is free, but the church asks for a donation in the sanctuary to help maintain the grounds.
  • Wow so much history is in this area so beautiful to take the kids out to explore and learn about our missions history. Also they hold Mass in the small church.

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