The Missions: Espíritu Santo

Luis Cazarez-Rueda, TPWD; Faye Moore, Goliad

Espíritu Santo (Real Media)


Mission Espíritu Santo was built by the Spanish to bring Christianity to the Indians and to train Indians to be keepers of the land for the Spanish crown.


The Indian men were trained as ranchers. The mission once had a ranch that stretched from San Antonio to the Gulf, with 40,000 head of cattle.


Women spun cotton …


… and wove cloth on looms.


Women made pottery.


Children ground corn and molasses to make pinole, a staple food for the Indians.


Longhorn cattle


The Indian Tribes of Mission Espíritu Santo: Atakapans, Upper Gulf Coast hunter-gatherers; Tonkawas, Central Texas hunter-gatherers; Karankawas, Lower Gulf Coast hunter-gatherers.


The Nature Trail behind the Mission


People from all over come to visit this historic site.


The chapel was built by the Franciscans and is a popular place for weddings.


The architecture includes symbols of the Franciscan monks, such as this rope pattern that reminds us of the rope belts worn by the monks.


This stairway is carved from a single tree trunk.


Mission Espíritu Santo remains an inspiration to visitors today.


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