Following the Mission Trail, San Jose is next.
This is the most complete and impressive of them all, so if you have visitors from out of town and limited time, bring them here.
On my fourth or 5th visit I finally noticed the similarity between the visitor's center....
All of the doors on the right lead to little 2-room living areas built into the outer perimeter walls. The wood poles supported whatever they used for shade.
Most people miss this unless they're on a guided tour.
As primitive and crusty as all the Missions look today, 250 years ago they looked a bit better.
When San Jose was completely plastered and painted like the fragment seen here it must have been the most beautiful building in all of south Texas.
I can imagine the indigenous locals thinking "Wow, these people who worship the man on the tree must know what they're talking about!"
With all of the church interiors restored we have an idea of what they must have looked like, but this last surviving section of exterior somehow gets overlooked.
Imagine if this part of the church was still in original condition?
BTW, I take this same photo every visit and have yet to beat my very first attempt.
That was over 5 years ago, and I made so many technical errors that it took a lot of PhotoShop to get a decent 5x7 print--an 8x10 was out of the question.
But the light and shadows were perfect.
More to come...