San Francisco de la Espada

photo of mission

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. It is a unique example of the Spanish Baroque style as used by the Franciscan Fathers of the Texas frontier.The missions' need for irrigation for the crops necessitated an elaborate system of acequias, or irrigation ditches, to channel water. The Spanish constructed seven acequias, five dams, and an aqueduct, using American Indian workers. This system extended 15 miles and irrigated 3,500 acres of land. The Espada Aqueduct was constructed in 1745 by Franciscans to serve the mission lands of Espada. It is the only remaining Spanish aqueduct in the United States.

29.3178, -98.45
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