Started by Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares in 1716, this National and State Historic Landmark was originally located west of San Pedro Springs. It survived three moves. During the 19th century struggle for political and military control of Texas. These rudimentary fortifications made the old mission symbolically and strategically important for Texas history.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was established in 1731 and underwent several building periods. The complex has the traditional plan of buildings and walls surrounding a central courtyard and includes the ruins of the second and third church, the foundations of some of the residential quarters, a convento (missionary quarters), granary foundation, well, and a residence.
The church is architecturally significant as physical evidence of building practices and techniques used during the Spanish colonial period. It is the least altered of all the Texas mission churches and has the only original dome of those in San Antonio.