San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 15
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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der is, not that it took so long but that it could be completed in the time by the
founders, with materials to find, manufacture and hew, and with the necessity of
teaching an intractable people, strange to industry, at once, how to labor and the
arts. The reader is referred to the ground plans of the Missions illustrated in
this book and he will realize how enormous in the wilderness and with such
difficulties was the undertaking.
Mission Concepcion was built like the others for worship, for scholastic pur-
poses and for defence. The barracks that surrounded the square have long since
disappeared and what was for a period the home of hospitality and the strong-
hold and refuge of many wayfarers and travellers and alive with the daily toil
of its little community and the quick purpose of its founders, is now quiet and
deserted, a relic, and but for the occasional service in the chapel is an institution
that has served its day. It is pathetic, realizing that there is no help for these
grand old monuments of the past but to fall more and more into decay. Mission
Concepcion is the best preserved Mission of Texas. Its " twin towers " and
Moorish dome rising out of the brush and small timber in its vicinity arouse
within one a mixture of curiosity, a sense of the incongruous and a delight of
the picturesque. At the Mission lives a family, which is in charge and some one
of them will bring you the key of the chapel and show you what there is to be
seen, but it would be useless to try and elicit any information. To them the past
of the Mission is as a sealed book and it has no romance for them. The Mission
Church fronts due West, and is built in the form of a cross, with the towers
forming two wings at the foot of the cross. This design corresponds exactly
with that of the Church of the Alamo. The front gateway is worthy of close ex-
amination. The upper part of the ornamented facade is not an arch but a
simple triangle and the arch of the doorway is, for want of a better definition, a
divided polygon. In the division or center of the arch is a shield with arms
and devices, and here and there on the portal facade are cross and scroll, and
carved relief pillars at the sides ornamented with carved lozenges. In angular
spaces over the archway as shown below is the legend:
4e ~$NDE EL P2
which, being interpreted, is "With these arms be mindful to the Mission's Patron-
ess and Princess, and defend (or vindicate) the state of her purity." Over this
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/33/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.