The Best of San Antonio in 2 Days
San Antonio is one of our favorite places in Texas to have a weekend getaway, we love to go down there even just for a day and come back home at night. Our favorite place to hang out with friends and family is down at the River Walk. The river walk is where the happening especially at night, plenty of restaurants, cafes and bar located just along the river. You can request a mariachi music to play right by your table with a few bucks for a group of 3 or 4 people who will perform it. It was fun, and the people are very nice and friendly, the whole atmosphere is just casual and relaxing. Hotels and mall are also located just a walking distance away from the river walk. On this trip, we had our friends, and we decided to gave them a little tour around San Antonio.
MISSION SAN JOSE
In 1720, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús founded what became the best known of the Texas Missions, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. Viewed as a model of Mission organization, Mission San José was a major social center. The unique architecture of its church and the richness of its fields and pastures led visitors to comment on its beauty. The size of the complex bear’s witness to San José’s reputation as the “Queen of the Missions.”
Mission San José was moved twice from its original site until it was finally built at its present location, set back from the temperamental river to a place on a small rise. At this time, it entered into a period of great achievement. Mission San José became the showplace of the Southwest.
The present church of Mission San José was begun in 1758 with the cornerstone laid by Governor Don Hugo Oconor and Gaspar José Solis, a Franciscan inspector. It was not completed until 1782 but became “the most beautiful church along the entire frontier of New Spain. ( source via)
Remains of Priest’s Quarters, Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Tx.”
San José, as it became known, was the largest of the missions in the area. At its height, the community contained about 350 Indian neophytes, sustained by extensive fields and herds of livestock. Viewed as the model among the Texas missions, San José gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. It became known as the “Queen of the Missions.” Its imposing complex of stone walls, bastions, granary, and the magnificent church was completed by 1782.
So rich an enterprise was a natural target for Apache and Comanche depredations. Although they could not prevent raids on their livestock, the mission itself was almost impregnable. In his journal, Fray Juan Agustín Morfí attested to its defensive character: “It is, in truth, the first mission in America . . . in point of beauty, plan, and strength . . . There is not a presidio along the entire frontier line that can compare with it.” The danger was when working the fields or during travel to and from the ranch or other missions. With technical help from the two presidial soldiers garrisoned there, San José residents learned to defend themselves. Already proficient with bow and arrow, the men also learned the use of guns and cannon.
THE FAMOUS ROSE WINDOW
La Ventana de Rosa, The Rose Window, is located on the south wall of the church sacristy. The window is described as the site where the Host was shown to gathered Mission celebrants during the Feast of Pentecost.
Sculpted in 1775, the Rose Window is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. Its sculptor and significance continue to be a mystery. Folklore credits Pedro Huizar, a carpenter, and surveyor from Spain, with carving the famous window as a monument to his sweetheart, Rosa. Tragically, on her way from Spain to join him, Rosa was lost at sea. Pedro then completed the window as a declaration of enduring love. (source via)
LIVING QUARTERS AND THE OUTDOOR STONE OVEN
The Surrounding walls of Missions San Jose are the living quarters of an Indian Soldiers.
Mission San Jose and its surrounding fields, called laborers, sustained a thriving community of Indians and Spaniards. Within the walls, Indian lived, worship and attended classes. They learned the blacksmith, to weave on European looms to cut stone and to make shoes and cotton clothes. Outside the walls, the mission Indians tended fields, orchards, and livestock.
A granary (first recorded in 1755) stored enough maize to supply the population of the mission for a year.
SAN ANTONIO MARKET SQUARE
For browsing and gift shopping, this is the place!
Market square The El Mercado and Market Square in downtown San Antonio is a fun way to spend some time and do some shopping.
The place is crammed with store after store of Mexican pottery, baskets, flags, jewelry, etc. We bought a couple of beautiful baskets to take home.
It`s a very colorful place. The number of stores was overwhelming. Definitely, wear some comfortable shoes!
We like the variety of restaurants and outdoor vendors that we can casually check out after the busy Riverwalk. A great way to spend a Saturday, El Mercado has something for everyone. Live music, working artists, beautiful crafts and fantastic food.
If you’re into history……this is a must see. My Husband and I really enjoy historical sights……maybe because they are the one thing older than we are. Our visit to The Alamo was truly a step back in time. Their self-guided tour was outstanding (and very reasonably priced). Forget the movies and get the real story. The folks connected with the site were very passionate about sharing and preserving this bit of not only Texas history but the history of this country. I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed our visit. If you’re going to be in the San Antonio area, please make time to visit The Alamo, you won’t be disappointed.
To stand on the grounds of the Alamo is a great experience that allows you to touch and see the great building from history. It is a true teaching moment for those not already familiar with the details of the heroic fight at the Alamo. The grounds are very well kept.
Riverwalk is my favorite vacation spot in San Antonio, whenever we are in San Antonio, we always made sure to stop by at the River Walk even if only have few hours. Make sure this is the second place you visit while in San Antonio (of course the Alamo is the first and only 2 blocks away). We come here 2-3 times year… never gets old. Be sure the find a hotel near the Riverwalk and bring comfortable shoes.
This is where our tour ended, at the beautiful Riverwalk only at San Antonio Texas. We were serenaded with a mariachi music while waiting for our food to serve. What a place!!!! You”ll never be bored.
Compare room rates and get the best deal. Menger Hotel located at a walking distance from the Alamo, River center mall and the Riverwalk.