San Antonio Missions, USA

Spanish colonial missions in Texas



CyArk scanning the missions in San Antonio by CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

In the spring of 2010, CyArk and the National Park Service collaborated to digitally preserve San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The first phase of the Digital Preservation Project of the five sites included field documentation, during which laser scanning and photography were used to create a digital record of the missions. CyArk partner Critigen performed the laser scanning and panoramic photography completed during the field documentation. The digital information gathered during the field documentation phase was then used to assist conservation as well as produce outputs for educational and promotional activities.

Landscape with mission walls and mission facade at the San Antonio Missions National Park by CyArkCyArk

History of the Missions

Located along the San Antonio River in Texas, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park encompasses four 18th-century Spanish Colonial missions. The San Antonio Missions represents the largest collection of Spanish Colonial missions in the United States. The missions were designed to be defensive residences and were centered around grand churches and convents. Their elaborate façades were designed in Spanish Colonial, Late Baroque, Moorish, Renaissance and Romanesque architectural styles.

San Antonio Missions Fresco from ConcepcionCyArk

Mission Concepción

Mission Concepción is the oldest unrestored stone church in the United States. It is the northernmost of the San Antonio Missions and is located along the east bank of the San Antonio River. The church was designed in the Spanish Colonial architectural style and took nearly twenty years to build. The church is cross-shaped in plan, with a vaulted roof and dome. It is constructed of limestone, the stonework exhibits a strong Moorish influence. The main façade of the Mission Concepción church was once covered in painted frescoes much like the ones preserved inside the church and convento.

3-D point cloud scan overlaid with a photo of a San Antonio Mission by CyArkCyArk

CyArk created a variety of conservation drawings including sections and elevations for the ongoing preservation of the site. Further, virtual tours and web models were also created for site promotion.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made with the following partners:


Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions

National Park Service

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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