Start of your tour with San Jose. This mission has been very well preserved-rebuilt and has far more areas to explore. Be sure to watch the beautiful introductory film (which plays on the half hour in visitors centre) that will give you a glimpse of the short history of the missions, through the eyes of a descendant. A walk through of San Jose shows you the living quarters, the church, a running flour mill, a stone carver (who was laboring to make new legs for the angel above the church doors). Following this site visit with the other missions, will give you an appreciation for the work that went into building the missions and what was sadly lost.
The Alamo is a must-see as well, as it has its own very important story to tell. There are presentations on a regular basis in the courtyard. There is a film in the theater but we unfortunately did not get a chance to see, but those coming out said it was well done. Prior to our visit, I read "Susanna of the Alamo by John Jakes" to my children, so they had a better understanding of the important battle that was fought here. Depending on the day, children can make make their own corn husk doll to take away and play some traditional dice games from the day.
Espada has a pretty little church (that is still in use today). Although there is little left of the former native quarters and surrounding walls, the site itself, is still lovely to walk through and visit. Down the road from here, be sure to visit and walk the trail that follows the historical aqueduct system.
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