“MEDITATION IS THE TONGUE OF THE SOUL, AND THE LANGUAGE OF OUR SPIRIT”
Founded in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús, Mission San José became the largest Texas Mission. After early setbacks, 300 inhabitants were sustained by the vast fields and herds of livestock. A visitor in 1777 referred to the structure as the “Queen of the Missions.” The church’s carvings are among its most notable features and the famous “Rose Window” is considered one of the finest pieces of Spanish Colonial ornamentation in the country. Other features are the convento area and the stairway to the belfry and choir loft – each of the 25 risers was hand-hewn from a single live-oak log and constructed without nails or pegs. Also featured is a granary with flying buttresses, a gristmill, restored defensive walls and quarters.