Mission San Francisco de la Espada

Founded: 1731

Original Name: San Francisco de los Tejas

Status:  Active Catholic Church

Location:  10040 Espada Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78214

Google Map

mission-San-Francisco-de-la-Espada

Photo by Travis K. Witt.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

San Francisco de los Tejas was the first mission built in the Spanish state of Texas. (There are earlier missions in what is now west Texas, but those missions were built the land was in Mexico.)

In 1731, the mission was moved to the San Antonio River area and renamed Mission San Francisco de la Espada.  

The current chapel was completed in 1756.  Several modern churches have been architecturally based on the design of this mission including St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wimberley, Texas, north of San Antonio


Espada Acequia

Espada Acequia aqueduct

Photo by Travis K. Witt.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Visitors to the mission can also see remains of Espada Acequia, and aqueduct that was built by the friars in 1791 to provide water to the mission fields.

In order to carry water to the fields for the missions around San Antonio, the Franciscans developed an elaborate irrigation system, consisting of dams, ditches, and aqueducts.  The system irrigated approximately 3,500 acres of land.