Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña

Founded: 1716

Status:  Active Catholic Church

Location:  807 Mission Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78210

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Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña

Mission Concepción was originally established in East Texas in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais. It was originally meant to be a base for converting the Hasinai.

Its location in east Texas was authorized by the Spanish government to serve as a buffer against the threat of French incursion into Spanish territory from Louisiana.

The mission was moved to its present site in 1731.

The Church

The handsome stone church (shown above) took over 20 years to completed; it was dedicated in 1755. It is the oldest unrestored church in the United States. The walls are 45 inches thick, faced with solid stone and filled with stone rubble.

The church is considered a perfect example of Spanish Colonial architecture. To build it, master builders were recruited from Mexico.  The native residents provided manual labor, and some were trained as artisans.

The church was once brightly painted.  Colorful frescoes can still be seen on some of the interior walls.

The Battle of Concepción

In 1835 Mission Concepción was the site of the Battle of Concepción, in which Texas revolutionaries under James Bowie defeated Mexican troops; some of the buildings were apparently damaged during the fight.