Spanish Missions in Texas

We turned some of our attention to colonial history while in El Paso and San Antonio, and visited seven Spanish missions there. Like San Xavier in Tucson (see my earlier post), these missions were tools of the Spanish church and crown to pacify and control indigenous peoples. Though inspired by religious faith and service, the approach of the Catholic clergy was paternalistic, regarding and treating native people as children, and only interested in making them obedient Catholics (and obedient to Spanish authority). The missions are classic Spanish Colonial in style and built largely with indigenous labour.

The most famous of these is the Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as the Alamo. It is best known for its role in the Texas Revolution and is now a shrine to the “freedom fighters” who died there.