San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 16
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 .
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR.
winds, circling in and out, the flagellum or knotted scourge of the order of St.
Francis, realistically carved-" If it wan't for the knots, 'twould be like a hair
lariat," as a boy once remarked. It also has an uncanny suggestion of a hang-
man's noose. These are again surmounted with other designs, and above all on the
summit of the facade is a stone bearing the date 1794, and immediately under-
neath this is a shield with the initial, i meaning, " Ave Maria." The only
stained glass in all the Missions is the panes of two little windows each side of
the upper part of the facade. The front of the Mission Concepcion must have
been very gorgeous with color, for it was frescoed all over with red and blue
quatrefoil crosses* of different pattern and with large yellow and orange squares
to simulate great dressed stones. This frescoing is rapidly disappearing, and
from but a little distance the front looks to be merely gray and undecorated stone.
The topmost roofs of the towers are pyramidical and of stone, with smaller corner
pyramidal cap-stones. The upper stories of the towers have each four lookout
windows of plain Roman arches. The tops of the side walls of the Church and
the circle wall of the central dome have wide stone serrations in the Moorish
character, the points of which around the finely proportioned dome stand out like
canine teeth. The towers have belfries, and at their bases, on either side of the
entrance are on the right, a baptistry 11lxl11 feet with massive thick walls, and on
the left a similar small chamber used as a vestry. The baptistry walls are fres-
coed with weird looking designs, dim and faded, of the Crucifixion and " los
dolores." It is quite dark in this room, there being no window, and a light
must be procured to examine it. A semi-circular font projects from the south
wall, its half bowl carved with what appears to be a symbolical figure with out-
stretched arms supporting the rim. It is a rude piece of carving, but is artistic.
Inside, the stone roof of the Chapel with its series of arches and central dome, is
massive but plain. In each wing of the cross are altars or altar places. In the
west end is a choir loft. In the east, an altar gorgeously decked and painted in
the Catholic manner, for Mass. The walls, roof, and ceiling are newly white-
washed, the floor is " Mother Earth," but some bran new seats have been pro-
vided. The Chapel up till recently, was in a very neglected state. To Bishop
Neraz belongs the credit of having it restored to its present state of cleanliness
and comfort. He it was who re-dedicated it to Our Lady of Lourdes on May 2,
The mission was frequently used for the quartering of troops, notably in
1835. Santa Anna is said to have expressed surprise that the Alamo was chosen
to be defended by the Texans in 1 S36 rather than the Mission Concepcion, affecting
to recognize, more effective military points in the Concepcion Mission as a strong-
hold. In 1849 the United States troops were quartered there for awhile and it is
said that they cleared the chapel of an immense amount of accumulated rubbish
and bat guano. In the holes in the walls outside are to be found the nesting
places of owls, pigeons, doves and other birds. To the south of the chapel,
westerly, are a series of arches which were formerly cells, chambers and cloisters
for the Mission inmates, but now used as storage rooms and stables. To the
* These quatrefoils are repeated over and over again in the carved lozenges of the plillars in relief, and
frescoes of this Mission and at San Jose. Whether there is any meaning attached to these particular forms of
the cross beyond that they are crosses, the editor is unable to discover.
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/34/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.