Thursday, October 28 – We had appointments in San Antonio this morning for physicals to upgrade are life insurance. It seemed to go well.....I think we both passed????
Afterwards, we went on the Texas Missions Trail to visit the San Antonio Missions. in 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. Within 13 years, five were located along the San Antonio River. The missions’ purpose? To acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Spanish missions were not churches, but communities, with the church the focus.
The Coahuiltecan Indians were the predominate Indian Tribe in the area.
Our first stop was Mission Concepcion.
The doorways are very low. Marsha fits through easily.
Paul is another matter.
It stands proudly as the oldest unrestored stone church in America. The Church was dedicated in 1755. Except for the gradual disappearance of the colorful frescos, little of its appearance has changed.
Marsha and her ceilings…tons of color.
Paul was fascinated with the locks.
The extensive art inside the buildings contains a blending of Christian, Spanish, and Native art elements. Experts restored original frescos on the convento walls and ceiling in 1988. Here are some of the original frescos still visible in several of the rooms.
This one is called "Eye of God" or “All Seeing Eye”.
The other frescos do not have names.
Religious services are still held at Mission Concepcion. Seasonal decorations may be seen in the church's interior.
Our next stop was Mission San José. This is the largest Mission.
Wall around Mission.
Plaza where building such as the blacksmith, carpenters, etc. were probably located.
In 1719, Father Margil de Jesus, a seasoned Franciscan missionary, was at Mission San Antonio de Valero (today's Alamo) requested permission to establish a second mission south of San Antonio de Valero. The Marques agreed and founding ceremonies took place on February 23, 1720.
Families lived in two-room quarters.
The building of the limestone church, with its extraordinary Spanish colonial Baroque architecture and statuary began in 1768. At that time there were 350 Indians residing in 84 two-room apartments. Based on Father Morfi's description in 1777, Mission San Jose came to be known as the “Queen of the Missions.”
Front doors are being refurbished.
They were able to uncover some of the original coloring on the church.
The Rose Window at the San José Mission in San Antonio is known as much for its mystery as for its beauty. The biggest riddle of all is why the Rose Window is so named. It is not related in any way to traditional roses. It really has pomegranate around it.
The short version of the story goes like this…a noted Spanish sculptor named Pedro Huizar, charged with carving a religious window at San José, instead used his considerable talent to carve a monument to his lovely sweetheart, Rosa. When the window was complete, he sent for his love—who died in a shipwreck on her way to New Spain. How sad.
There use to be a roof over this area. The clergy lived here.
We enjoyed visiting these two missions.
Before we went back to the motor home, we decided to visit an historical site in Bandera. St Stanislaus Catholic Church is the oldest Polish Catholic church in Texas. The second oldest Polish Catholic church in the United States. The Church had its beginning in 1855 when 16 immigrant families from Poland landed at Indianola, Texas. They then proceeded to Bandera to settle. This was only six weeks after the settling of the first Polish Parish in the United States at Panna Maria, Texas.
So much color.
The stained glass was hauled by wagon from a port on the Gulf and installed by determined farmers.
A gorgeous church which continues to hold mass every day but Monday.
Friday, October 29 – Woke up this morning to 39 degrees and of course the furnace wouldn't come on....jeesh! We'll have to have that checked-out!
We drove to Love Creek Apple Orchards in Medina (about 10 miles north) for what is called the “Best Hamburger in Hill Country.” Now it's the only burger we've had in Hill Country, but if it isn't the BEST we'd sure like to find one better.
If you are ever in Texas Hill Country, be sure to head to Love's. Oh, and there apple pies..... WOW! We didn't taste one, but we saw 'em. Unbelievable! It takes a 14-inch slab of dough to drape over the 4-pound mound of apples grown in their apple orchard. Unbelievable price too.........$22.95 for a whole pie.....Yowzie!
We then walked around downtown Bandera. Not much worth seeing there! We did check out the Honky Tonks and know where to go tonight. We are headed to the 11th Street Bar. It has a huge outside patio area with a huge dance floor. Had a great time at the Honky Tonk.....hee..haw!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back real soon. Have a great day!