A Historical View of the San Antonio Missions
Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan was first established in East Texas in 1716. The Spanish originally named it "San Jose de los Nazonis," in honor of St. Joseph and the Nazoni Indian tribe it served. Fifteen years later, the Spanish moved the mission (along with Missions Concepción and Espada) to the banks of the San Antonio River on March 5, 1731.

Since the San Antonio area already had a Mission San Jose, and the Nazoni Indians did not move with the mission, it had to be renamed. It was given the name of San Juan Capistrano in honor of a priest from Capistrano, Italy. This saint had famously led a section of the army that was victorious against the invading Turks at Belgrade, Serbia in the 15th century.

About this Image:
1) Photograph of a painting titled, "Mission San Juan de Capistrano," painted by 19th century romantic landscape artist Hermann Lungkwitz. The painting dates to c. 1856.

2) Front façade of the chapel at Mission San Juan. The statue shown beneath the bell tower in this photo has been relocated. Photo taken by Gordon Shults.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
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