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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:36 PM   #1
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This old church is still a functioning parish. Picture taken during Palm Sunday services.
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:47 PM   #2
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Most of the walls are now in ruins, but the gate is still up. That flat brick in the arch was a specialty of Mission Esparza, and was a barter commodity; it can be found in other mission structures in the San Antonio area.

The mission was rather successful in attracting the local Indians, offering a way to consistent food and security in a sometimes difficult country. The brothers had built a dam and an aqueduct to bring river water down to the mission, and farming was good. The walls and a small detachment of soldiers offered protection from the Apaches, who had gained horses in the uprising that drove the Spanish from New Mexico, and were then roaming into South Texas.

But one had to become Catholic, learn Spanish, and become a good Spanish citizen. Not a bad deal, except for the diseases that took off so many of them.
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:48 PM   #3
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Portion of ruined wall, showing ruins of apartments where Indian families lived.
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:50 PM   #4
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:52 PM   #5
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:54 PM   #6
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Detail of tower. The entire structure originally was coated with a locally-produced slaked lime, which would have been decorated with colored geometric designs.

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Old Mar 20, 2008, 9:57 PM   #7
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Old Mar 21, 2008, 8:12 PM   #8
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The Barbarian wrote:
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This old church is still a functioning parish. Picture taken during Palm Sunday services.
Great, robust pictures of a very special building. The three bells. Details. Incomparable architecture, as I understand it. Never seen anything like it before. Fascinating history

/T


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Old Mar 21, 2008, 8:22 PM   #9
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They tried hard to make it like it was in Europe, the idea being that the Indians would become just like Europeans.

The big landowners came into conflict with the church on this matter; they wanted free labor from the Indians as slaves, and the padres were trying to save their souls and make them good Christian citizens.

The Crown tended to side with the padres, but it was no sure thing.

So they took what they had, and tried to make a little bit of Spain. Given the distances and the time it took, it must have seemed like colonizing another planet.

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Old Mar 21, 2008, 10:41 PM   #10
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The Barbarian wrote:
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They tried hard to make it like it was in Europe, the idea being that the Indians would become just like Europeans.

The big landowners came into conflict with the church on this matter; they wanted free labor from the Indians as slaves, and the padres were trying to save their souls and make them good Christian citizens.

The Crown tended to side with the padres, but it was no sure thing.

So they took what they had, and tried to make a little bit of Spain. Given the distances and the time it took, it must have seemed like colonizing another planet.
Fascinating indeed. A task for the german film maker Werner Herzog, in for instance
"Fitzcarraldo"
"Aguirre" (Wrath of Gods)
"Grizzly man"
Remarcable films with themes/athmosphere similar to your narration

/T


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