Friday, July 25, 2014

San Antonio Missions (South and Downtown San Antonio)

"While the Alamo is certainly the most famous site in Texas, it is amazing how many people do not know that it was originally just one of several Spanish missions established along the banks of the San Antonio River. Originally called Mission San Antonio de Valero, it was the first and northernmost of five religious settlements defended by the garrison from the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar. It was followed over the next thirteen years by the establishment of four other significant church communities, Mission San Jose, Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, and Mission Concepcion.

Over their centuries of existence, what are now collectively known as the San Antonio missions were the starting points of quests north and west in search of gold and souls, locations of raids and battles, places of births and deaths. They were crucibles of human emotion, those of fervent proselytes spreading the word of God, native peoples being stripped of their own cultures and faiths, greedy and bloodthirsty fortune hunters, and those who fell in battle at their gates or succumbed to disease within their walls. All were also established in an abundant area that had been occupied by ancient peoples since time immemorial and used by them for hunting and gathering. It should thus not be surprising that these missions are widely considered to be haunted and that people have reported every sort of paranormal phenomena at them, including everything from anomalies in photographs and recordings to apparitions of conquistadores, monks, Indians, settlers, and soldiers." 

Those are two of the opening paragraphs of my chapter on the San Antonio Missions for Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country! It covers the mundane and supernatural histories of the earliest settlements in what is now the city of San Antonio is comprises the biggest chapter in the book. 

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