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San Antonio


Mission San Francisco de la Espada

'The Mission as a Vocational Education Center' is the interpretive theme of Mission Espada.
One of the early East Texas missions founded in 1690, Espada was relocated to San Antonio in 1731. By 1778, however, the original adobe church structure was in ruin; the principal stone church was never completed.
The chapel as we know it today, built originally as the sacristy for the stone church but later converted into the present structure, dates from about 1884.
The Moorish-styled, arched doorway, however, dates from about 1780 and represents some of the chapel's most original fabric. The Espada Aqueduct, which carries water from the San Antonio River across Piedras Creek, continues to feed the original mission irrigation system. Espada Dam, built between 1731 and 1740, is the best existing example of the four Franciscan-designed dams placed on the San Antonio River. The dam is still in use today.
Combined, these structures represent perhaps the best surviving physical assembly of an18th century Spanish irrigation network in the United States.

Mission San Francisco de la Espada
Mission San Francisco de la Espada



Document Information
Source: San Antonio CVB, photos: Al Rendon
Last modified: 20040907
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