Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion
Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion (1731-1824) - A fortified Spanish mission established in 1731 by Catholic Franciscan missionaries in present day San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Fully secularized and abandoned as a mission in 1824.
A fortified Spanish mission initially established in 1716 in east Texas and moved to the present location in 1731.
The mission concept included bringing friendly Indians into the mission and organizing a Christian community with the Indian leaders functioning as the leaders of the community. The priest was responsible for the religious instruction and care of the community. A limited number of soldiers were typically assigned for protection and as a deterrent to any attack by hostile Indians. A nearby presidio was established to furnish a stronger force that could respond to serious attacks on any mission and to protect ranchers and colonists in the area. The Presidio San Antonio de Bexar was established in 1718 to protect the missions, ranchers and colonists the San Antonio area.
The stone church was completed 1755 as an 89' by 22' structure with walls 45 inches thick. The church is thought to be the oldest unrestored church in the United States. The mission flourished as a result of an irrigation system the missions built along the San Antonio River and a peace with the Apache Indians. By the 1770s the mission population began to decline and by 1793 only 41 Indians remained. Political decisions had impoverished the mission and it was ordered partially secularized on 10 Apr 1794. The mission further declined as more settlers occupied the lands and the Indians became impoverished. After the Mexican War of Independence the mission was fully secularized on 13 Sep 1823. The church property was turned over 29 Feb 1824 and abandoned as a mission.
One of five Spanish missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Services continue at the church.
Visited: 28 Nov 2011