- Mission San Jose, located at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, was founded in 1720 by Father Antonio Margil de Jesus. If you only have time to visit one of the San Antonio Missions, the "Queen of the Missions" is the one to see. It is the largest of the five missions and the most fully restored. The mission was a church-focused community, where Spanish missionaries and their Native American converts lived during the 1700s and 1800s. In its heyday, in the late 1700s, 350 Native Americans lived on the property and tended crops and livestock. The site's bounty made it the subject of frequent attacks by Apaches and Comanches. While they succeeded in stealing livestock, which was kept outside the compound, the raiders could not get past the formidable defenses of the mission itself. Free ranger-guided tours last 45 to 60 minutes and are available periodically throughout the day. The mission remains an active church, and visitors are permitted to attend the Sunday mass.
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