The newest UNESCO sites have been announced and I want to send congratulations to my hometown San Antonio Missions. Some here have been working a long time for that designation.
I grew up on the south side of town where seeing the missions was a part of daily life. Later, as an adult visiting my mother, it was an easy bike ride from her house along the Mission Trail bike path.
That unique group of missions, built along the San Antonio River, are fascinating and something to be seen. Although Concepción and San José were closest to where I grew up, Espada has always been my favorite.
Thanks so much for posting this and for helping to make the UNESCO designation happen.
That's great because, although all four are lovely, at least two need some additional funds for upkeep (as well as having an onsite tourist center which seemed to be missing or closed). I actually walked on the Mission Trail between all four (after taking a very long- winded taxi ride to Mission Espada from downtown) and it was great. The ones furthest away were practically empty and it was unclear that they were even open (admittedly that was the nice part, you had them all to yourself). The Mission Trail itself was fantastic and a great addition for strollers and bikers.
The thing that's interesting to me is that the UNESCO designation includes all four missions AND the Alamo. That's actually a big deal in some respects. Currently, different groups manage the Alamo and the other missions. The Alamo group didn't want to give up control to the Department of the Interior. That's why the Alamo is not a National Monument while the other four missions are. Mission San Jose has a regular visitor's center that you would expect at other National Monuments. I'm glad that nothing has really been built up at the other locations -- it helps to preserve the place, unlike the Alamo which is now crammed with stuff. I try to convince everyone who visits to see the other missions because the experience is so different than that of the Alamo.