A brief bus ride tool me first to the visitor center at the Mission of San Jose.
The missions were built to convert the Native American's to Christianity and "civilize" them, although in reality, they ended up being imprisoned slaves who did construction and other crafts and raised crops for the mission.
A lot of this mission was rebuilt/restored in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The wall in the distance is entirely a reconstruction. The original wall was slowly torn apart and the stones used for other building projects after Texas became a state and the Catholic church was no longer a state religion.
This room is a reconstruction of the corner, circular guide tower. The logs shown on the top provide a platform to shoot from the holes in the upper walls.
This is supposed to represent one room of a two-room home provided to an Indian family.
This is supposed to represent a bedroom. It could have had up to a dozen people living in this one family home.
The row of Indian homes is built into the outer wall, with all doors and windows facing toward the courtyard.
This is the church itself and the ruins of what had been the convent, or place where the priests lived. While the grounds and outside of the church is a national park, the inside of the church is still controlled by the Catholic church and is an operating church.
A very pretty "Rose" window--named after the deceased fiancé of one of the builders.
And the front of the church. The right side and front of the building are mostly original, but the left side and rear, plus the ceiling collapsed and have been rebuilt.
So, hop back on the bus and head for the Mission Concepcion. This one is very close to my RV park, but a bit too far to walk.
This church is about 90% original, with only a little reconstruction. There originally was a wall around the compound, but that is gone. And again, it is a working church.
This is one of the very few rooms in this mission where you can see the original wall and ceiling decorations.
This sun face in the middle of the ceiling appeared in much more detail after it was cleaned. The meaning is unclear.
As you can see, the church has been completely restored on the inside, including the stripes and other decorations on the walls and ceiling.
There are two or three other missions in this area that are worth seeing, but I will have to save them for another trip, as I am headed off west tomorrow morning.