Architectural elements and materials as evidence of changing Spanish colonial philosophy Mission San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz 1762-1768



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Mission San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz (41FR1) was a small mission established in 1762 in Real County, Texas and was officially abandoned in 1771. It was originally intended as a safe haven for the Lipan Apache whose lands were being encroached upon by the Comanches and their allies. It would also serve as a sign of Spanish influence in this most northern frontier of New Spain against potential threats from the French in Louisiana. Using men and material from Presidio San Sabá the Spaniards founded this mission in the Nueces River valley. Beginning with the dedication and through all phases of its construction and life, this establishment served as a sanctuary to religion and from adversaries. By examining multiple aspects of the of the location, construction methods and materials, it will be shown that this establishment was both a church and fortress, truly a unique hybrid on the Spanish Northern frontier that will become Texas.



Spanish Colonial Missions, Lipan Apache, Comanches, Early Texas history, Military Architecture, Adobe Construction