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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO MISSION. San Juan Capistrano Mission, formerly the East Texas mission of San José de los Nazonis, was renamed in 1731, when it was moved to the site of present San Antonio twelve miles from the Alamo. San Juan Capistrano did not make as much progress as did the other San Antonio missions because of its exposure to frequent Indian attacks and the fact that lands allotted to the mission were not sufficient for its horses and cattle and the raising of the required crops. In 1762 San Juan Capistrano owned 1,000 cattle, 3,500 sheep and goats, and a horse herd of 100. Construction of a separate church was begun, but it was never completed, and services had to be held in a large room in the monastery. The buildings of the mission standing today have no sculpturing, but the walls are thick and the rooms commodious. Most of the original square remains within the walls, offering an authentic picture of the mission plan. San Juan Capistrano was transferred from the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaroqv to the care of the College of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecasqv in March 1773 and secularized on July 14, 1794. In 1934, as part of a public-works project, some of the Indian quarters and the unfinished church foundations were unearthed. During the 1960s the chapel, priests' quarters, and other structures were rebuilt. The mission complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and since the 1980s has been operated and maintained by the National Park Service as part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Marion A. Habig, The Alamo Chain of Missions (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1968; Rev. ed. 1976).


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO MISSION," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.