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Old 05-18-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
944 posts, read 2,802,487 times
Reputation: 263

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After having lived in San Antonio for a few years, I finally toured the missions yesterday. Regular readers will know that there are only a few things in this city that have pleased me. Visiting the missions was an OUTSTANDING experience. I'd of course heard about them, but like everything else here, I'd not bothered to go because I thought they would be just another disappointment (like the much-hyped First Friday was, and like all of the "art" festivals have been).

Well, the missions blew me away. I'd had no idea that they would be so cool, and beautiful, and moving, and be so steeped in spiritual vibe. I know that the missions represent the oppression of native populations, but they were stunning. The weather yesterday was perfect, and the way that the sunlight danced in the clouds over these historic relics was magical. If you are new to San Antonio, please do visit them all in an afternoon. You will not be disappointed. Make sure to see the 23-minute long movie at the visitor center at Mission San Jose. It is extremely well-done, educational, and moving.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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It is a historic and beautiful place that reminds me of SA when I visit! There are many things that are beautiful about SA, you have to have to just find them
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:31 PM
 
2,027 posts, read 6,353,921 times
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I've only visited the Alamo (the most UNimpressive) and Concepcion. Which was your favorite?

I can't wait until Mission Reach of the Riverwalk is completed and people will be able to kayak, bike, hike, etc. from downtown to the missions. Oh and I will second that the art festivals are nowhere near the caliber they could be. It is better than no art scene though, and seems to be improving (new museums, new art districts, etc.).


San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
944 posts, read 2,802,487 times
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I think that part of the reason that the missions are great is that they have federal funding. tgannaway89, you have seen the least impressive of the missions. In my opinion, the best are San Jose and Espada.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:49 AM
 
443 posts, read 1,359,413 times
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question, can u do weddings and receptions in any of them? they look picture perfect and would look good as a backdrop for weddings...
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:52 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,815 posts, read 33,137,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winst0n View Post
question, can u do weddings and receptions in any of them? they look picture perfect and would look good as a backdrop for weddings...
You sure can. Except for the Alamo, each mission has a Catholic parish operating within it.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park - Frequently Asked Questions (U.S. National Park Service)

Mrs. Bowie has a friend who got married at Mission Espada a couple of years back.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Encino Park
9 posts, read 34,798 times
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I've been to all the missions are more than one occasion. When my kids were younger, this was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon w/out spending money! My fiance has taken some BEAUTFUL pictures that we've framed and hung in our home. We've also sold a few and donated a pair to a silent auction at the kids school.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:34 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,358,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winst0n View Post
question, can u do weddings and receptions in any of them? they look picture perfect and would look good as a backdrop for weddings...
We got married at Mission San Jose. You can have weddings at all of them, including the tiny Espada, except the Alamo (which I happen to love but mainly at night when there aren't many people about). The only potential downside is the tourists poking their heads in, but that's not a big deal

All the missions, except the Alamo, are active Catholic parishes.

Many people have pictures taken there.

To add to the historic experience, we followed our Mission ceremony with a reception at the Menger. Quite an experience given that 90% of our guests had never been to San Antonio.

btw- at least at San Jose, not sure about the other missions, you don't have to be Catholic to have a ceremony there, but you have to bring your own minister and respect the requirements of the church as a house of worship.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:44 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,113,202 times
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Wow, kinda surprised that anyone is just discovering the missions, as they have always been our favorite stops when we have friends or family in town. Inasmuch as we love the Alamo and the Riverwalk, the missions are a better experience and if you really want to enjoy them, take a bicycle and ride the path from Concepción down to San José and back along the San Antonio River. Don't forget to stop at the Espada Aquaduct as well!

Cheers! M2
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:08 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,358,723 times
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Yeah, we were kind of surprised by how few people had been to the missions. Even amongst the locals at our wedding most had never been, and many of our work colleagues had never gone. They really are beautiful. I'm from CA and always loved the missions there. I used to go have lunch at the Santa Barbara Mission all the time. They're one of the first places I wanted to see when moving to SA.
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