San Antonio Mission Road: A Historic Day Trip

Did you know that Texas’ most famous Mission, the Mission San Antonio de Valero–the Alamo–is only one of a chain of missions strung along the San Antonio River?  There are four other San Antonio River missions–Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada (going from North to South.  Established between 1718 and 1731, these missions were built only to spread the Catholic faith, and also to serve multiple foreign policy objectives for the Spanish government.  Today,  all four mission churches still have active Catholic parishes that hold regular services.

Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose

The missions and surrounding land, make up San Antonio Missions National Historical Park which opened in 1983.   The park’s visitor’s Center is in Mission San José (6701 San Jose Dr., San Antonio, TX 78214), where you can view a quick movie, Gente de Razon, which tells the story of life in the missions during the 1700s.   If you love architecture, history, and nature the Mission Trail is well worth a visit.   You can walk, bike or use your car to go up the trail.   Count on spending between two to four hours to visit all the missions.   Admission and guided tours are free but donations are welcome. Continue reading

Lady Bird Lake Gazebo (Fannie Davis Town Lake Gazebo)

Presented to the City of Austin “for the enjoyment of all the people of Austin,” the gazebo at Lady Bird Lake represents a four and half year commitment by the Austin Chapter of Women in Construction. The project, begun in 1967 and dedicated in 1970, was intended to serve as a “lasting tribute to the construction industry” and to spawn other beautification projects along Lady Bird Lake.  Built for $6,000 with a lot of contributed labor and materials, it is sometimes compared to a spaceship. The structure was designed by Sterry Nill, Jr., to match the architecture of the nearby Municipal Auditorium and to blend with the beauty of Lady Bird Lake.

The gazebo has been renovated many times (most notably in 1985) at cost that is a whole lot more than $6,000.  A bit of trivia, the gazebo is one of the few structures named after a living person when in 1985 it was named after a charter member of NAWIC–Ms. Fannie Davis (who passed away in 1997).

Town Lake Gazebo

Town Lake Gazebo

This Gazebo is located just east of the dog park near Riverside and the South First Street bridge as it crosses the Colorado River.

More information on the Gazebo

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