Mission San Juan | Texas Public Radio

Mission San Juan

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

On March 5, 1731, Spanish friars essentially handed the keys to San Antonio’s missions to the Native American families who lived there. Just four days later, 56 residents from the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands landed in San Antonio, sent by Spain’s King Felipe the Fifth to establish the first official government in the province of Texas. And with that, thousands of years of Native American history in San Antonio began to disappear.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

In the first segment:

In late October the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit Palestine as a member state. The U.S., which has long opposed recognition, promptly stopped paying dues and subsequently lost its voting rights in the organization.  

Eileen Pace / TPR

World Heritage Week began Saturday in San Antonio, and there are plenty of activities throughout the week from April 27 - May 4, including an opportunity for children to learn about the missions and earn a World Heritage Badge.

Eileen Pace / TPR

Congressman Lloyd Doggett testified Tuesday before a committee on Capital Hill to expand the boundary of the San Antonio Missions National Park.

Doggett expressed his desire to expand the boundary of the San Antonio Missions National Park by 137 acres to the Committee on Natural Resources.

The area includes Missions San Jose, San Juan and Espada.

Eileen Pace / TPR

As the Texas legislature takes up the possibility of forming a commission to look at what it would take to transform the area around the Alamo, U.S. congressional leaders are also making strides toward the future integrity of the Missions.

State Rep. Mike Villarreal is attempting to create the Alamo Museum District Commission, a group that would study how to honor the Alamo as a national treasure.

Eileen Pace / TPR

The Old Spanish Missions were honored with the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation at Saturday’s rededication ceremony for Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Attendees at the dinner commemorating the restoration of San Juan got a look at the details that made the project outstanding, like the hand-worked altar and architectural pieces, an exterior surface restored to its original look, and the re-interment of Native American remains found in the repair of the building’s foundation.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Mission San Juan Capistrano has had restoration work done numerous times over the years to keep it from collapse, and the tiny colonial church re-opened this week to its first mass since the extensive renovation started almost two years ago.

It was a big undertaking -- more work needed to be done than with any of the other mission restorations -- but San Juan was about to collapse. Its buttresses struggled to restrain the cracking walls, and the ground was giving way.