Meet the San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The San Antonio Missions were established between 1718 and 1731, all situated along a nearly 8-mile stretch of the San Antonio River. As a group, they are the most complete and intact example of the Spanish crown’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain.
The Spanish Missions were self-sustaining communities buzzing with building construction, agricultural activities, schools, skilled trades, and worship. They only thrived during the 18th century, yet their social influence and physical presence remains an important part of South Texas heritage and U.S. History today. In fact, each Mission church continues to host an active parish and to serve a vital part of the community.
On July 5, 2015, the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) unanimously approved the four Spanish Missions comprising the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park – Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, Mission San José, and Mission Concepción – along with Mission Valero/The Alamo as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the only World Heritage Site in Texas and one of just 23 in the United States.