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Mission Concepción

At a Glance

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña is located approximately three miles south of downtown and was established here in 1731 after relocating from East Texas. An estimated 300 Native Americans were brought into the mission when it was founded. They constructed the buildings and the acequia (irrigation ditch) as well as prepared the land to farm crops. Mission Concepción’s church is considered the best-preserved Spanish colonial structure in the U.S. Brightly painted frescos that decorated the church’s exterior in the 1700s are still faintly visible. Extensive art inside the buildings on the convento walls and ceiling was restored in 1988.

The Mission Concepción Church and Compound

Construction of the main church building took 20 years. Workers completed the church in 1755. The Mission compound included a plaza, the church and the convento, which included living quarters for the priests, as well as the refectory and office. After construction of the main church finished, the temporary living quarters for the Mission Indians were rebuilt in stone to form a defensive perimeter around the grounds. Additionally, mission residents built animal pens, a granary, and a well within the protective inner walls. The Mission complex became a self-sufficient, self-contained village surrounded by farmland irrigated by the acequias.

Realities of Mission Life

Mission life was not easy. Many of the indigenous residents died of diseases such as smallpox and measles; infant mortality rates were high. Competing indigenous groups frequently attacked the Missions. Indigenous residents of the Missions often deserted the compound, preferring their previous lifestyle and nomadic culture. At times, the Indians returned of their own accord; other times they were forcibly brought back. Communication was challenging as the various indigenous groups spoke different languages.

Records from 1762 from Mission Concepción show that church officials baptized 792 Mission Indians and buried 596 in the same year. By 1782, there were only 77 Indians left at the Mission. Due to the lack of success in achieving the Church's goals, as well as political factors, the Mission was completely secularized by 1824.

After Secularization

The compound quickly fell into a state of disrepair following secularization. By 1821, the buildings were in ruins and the acequia system no longer functioned. Steps were eventually taken to preserve the property and the church was rededicated in 1861 after restoration by the Brothers of Mary. Over the next 50 years, the Catholic Church initiated several restoration projects on the property. Additional restoration projects occurred in the mid-1900s.

Getting to Concepción

807 Mission Rd,
San Antonio, TX 78210

This mission is about three miles south of the Alamo, just past the historic King William District. It is accessible via the World Heritage Trail, VIA VIVA Missions from downtown. If you’re B-Cycling along the Mission Reach Trail, there is a parking hub on the grounds.

Map of Mission Concepcion Area

Take I-35 S to San Antonio. Follow I-35 S to exit 158B onto I-37 S/US-281 S toward Corpus Christi. Take exit 139 for US-90 W/US-87 N toward El Paso. Merge onto I-10 W/US-90 W/US-87 N. Take exit 573 for Probandt St. Merge right onto Probandt St and turn right at Steves Ave. Continue on Steves Ave and turn right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Follow I-37 N to San Antonio. Take exit 139 for US-90 W/US-87 N toward El Paso. Merge onto I-10 W/US-87 N/US-90 W. Take exit 573 for Probandt St. Merge right onto Probandt St and turn right at Steves Ave. Continue on Steves Ave and turn right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Follow I-35 E and I-35 S to San Antonio. Follow I-35 S to exit 158B onto I-37 S/US-281 S toward Corpus Christi. Take exit 139 for US-90 W/US-87 N toward El Paso. Merge onto I-10 W/US-90 W /US-87 N. Take exit 573 for Probandt St. Merge right onto Probandt St and turn right at Steves Ave. Continue on Steves Ave and turn right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Take I-10 E to San Antonio. Follow I-10 E and use right two lanes to take exit 153 to merge onto I-10 E/US-87 S/US-90 E toward Houston. Take exit 573 for Probandt St and turn right onto Probandt St. Turn left onto W Mitchell St and right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Take I-45 N to I-10 W. Follow I-10 W to San Antonio. Take exit 573 for Probandt St. Merge right onto Probandt St and turn right at Steves Ave. Continue on Steves Ave and turn right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Take I-35 N/US-83 N. Follow I-35 N to San Antonio. Follow I-35 N and use the right two lanes to exit 153 and merge onto I-10 E/US-90 E/US-87 S. Take exit 573 for Probandt St and turn right onto Probandt St. Turn left onto W Mitchell St and right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Take US-281 S from E Terminal Dr and Dee Howard Way. Continue on US-281 S/I-37 S. Take exit 139 for US-90 W/US-87 N toward El Paso. Merge onto I-10 W/US-90W/ US-87 N. Take exit 573 for Probandt St and Roosevelt Ave. Merge right onto Probandt St and turn right at Steves Ave. Continue on Steves Ave and turn right on Mission Rd to Mission Concepción.

Photo for exploring the area

Explore the Area

San Antonio is a city on the rise, with eclectic neighborhoods to explore, a buzzing food scene and vibrant nightlife – all near our historic World Heritage Site missions.

 
Photo of downtown San Antonio

Touring the City

With the new VIA VIVA public transportation routes, San Antonio River Mission Reach hike & bike trails and guided tours throughout the city, San Antonio is incredibly accessible for all kinds of adventurers.

 

Mission Concepción Events

Yoga in Your Park w/ Mobile Om

Yoga in Your Park w/ Mobile Om

Join Mobile Om for FREE Yoga at Mission Concepción.

18 Nov 2017

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