Saturday, February 23, 2013

San Antonio Once More

Thursday we planned to go into San Antonio to see some missions and have lunch on the Riverwalk.  It was a perfectly beautiful day and it was easy to find our first mission:  San Juan Capistrano and it's unique acequias (irrigation ditch 7 miles long from the San Antonio River).  It is still a vibrant community with the Spanish and natives worshipping at this church.

All the San Antonio Missions are part of the National Park Service and are Historical Parks.  Only the churches are not part of the Park and belong to the Diocese today.

It was a short drive to Mission Espada founded in 1690.  Missions depended on their success of farming and ranching, however branding of cattle was very difficult in the Texas brush country, and in 1778 all unbranded cattle becme property of the Crown, so the vast mission herds were reduced to several hundred.  Sheep provided wool for weaving and trading with other settlements.  This church front and back and a small amount of the base is original.  The roof and side walls had been rebuilt.

Inside this church (which is still used today) are statues even older than this church that were moved from the original oldest Mission in East Texas. 

The colorful kneeling pads
After driving back into San Antonio, we needed some lunch.  Casa Rio right on the river was the perfect choice, as you can see.  

 We needed to walk off a few of those calories, so wandered over to La Vallita (little village).  Now it is a collection of artisans and their shops, some with beautiful handmade items.  Lottery items, actually.  But originally it was grounds to the "Little Church of La Villita, established in 1879.  This stained glass window was installed in 1969 in honor of Rev. Paul Soupiset, who earned this honor by taking a tin cup onto the streets and to business establishments to solicit money to prepare Christmas dinners for the poor, hungry or lost.

It would have taken another 1 1/2 hours for the boat tour, so we decided to head home.  A beautiful ending to a beautiful good day.


No comments:

Post a Comment