You’ve probably heard by now that the San Antonio Missions became Texas’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site, a designation approved by a committee of 21 States Parties from countries all over the world, last week. This is great news for San Antonio and the Missions, as the title honor will not only raise global awareness about the Missions, but will ultimately help bring about conservation and protection efforts for years to come. Now, the Missions are not just a concern for the City of San Antonio, but for the entire World Heritage Committee as well.
The Committee approved a total of 24 cultural, natural, and mixed sites to the growing list this year. The Missions were the only sites representing the United States, joining new ranks alongside other sites from China, Denmark, France, Mexico, Turkey, and many others. Read more here for a full list of this year’s new sites.
In honor and celebration of the Missions’ new status, several events around town have been planned, including one on Sunday, July 12 at Mission Concepción. For more information on dates and times, read this article featured in San Antonio Magazine.
Explore the Five Missions this Summer
We know many locals have at least visited one or some, if not all, of the five missions. But for those who have yet to make the trek, it’s not too late. Get a head start before the inevitable influx of people. Plus, the trip makes for a fun family excursion! So, grab the kids, your bestie, or your out-of-town friends and relatives for the ultimate cultural throwback experience. To get you going, here are five cool facts about the Missions.
5 Interesting Facts about The Missions
Mission San José contains a Spanish Colonial gristmill, which was restored and has been operational since 2001.
Mission Concepción retains its blend of Spanish, Christian, and Native art both outside and inside the mission walls.
In the mid-1700s, as many as 52 families and over 200 individuals from “diverse nations and clans” lived within the Mission Espada compound.
The current church of San Juan Capistrano is the fourth one built. The first three churches were never fully completed.
Spanish troops named the famous fort El Alamo—the Spanish term for cottonwood—because of the cottonwood trees around the fort and in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parras in Mexico.
¡Viva Las Misiónes!