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Mission Espada, San Antonio

#8 of 28 in Historic Sites in San Antonio
Mission · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
One of the missions within the UNESCO-designated San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the first Spanish mission in Texas, Mission Espada showcases a well-preserved acequia, a centuries-old irrigation system. Observe the still-functioning aqueduct and dam, which have been transferring water from the San Antonio River to the mission since their construction between 1731 and 1740. Also, check out the irregular arch of the church doorway, which some theorize to be a Moorish design feature and others just a mishap in construction. By using our San Antonio trip planning app, you can arrange your visit to Mission Espada and other attractions in San Antonio.
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Mission Espada reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
470 reviews
  • This is the southernmost and smallest of the missions, but it is rich in character. The quaint church stands as it did hundreds of years ago. Part of the wall is in ruins, but some of has been...  more »
  • One of the smaller of the Missions but very cool and worth the stop to check out. There are some information signs scattered throughout. There is also a chapel and a gift shop with snacks and drinks.....  more »
  • As I have said in my other reviews, you should really skip the Alamo if you want to see some really cool missions. I had never been to this one before and I'm glad I came. Let me preface by saying that this mission is very small. However, the structural Integrity of the main church is very well kept. The grounds were also very quiet as there was hardly any people around. The greenery is also fantastic. There were a lot of beautiful plants and flowers around the grounds. Like all the other missions, there's a lot of open space where it tends to get very hot. You will probably spend about 30 minutes here just walking the grounds and reading over the signage. Also be sure to admire the church facade itself. Although we didn't buy anything, the people in the gift shop were also extremely friendly.
  • Don’t let the city naysayers dissuade you from this lovely mission. At least four different people told me to visit San Jose and skip the others. It was worth the journey and of the five missions I visited - my favorite! The gift shop was phenomenal and half the price of San Jose’s.

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