The Alamo has been pulling me to visit since I read a biography of Davy Crockett in fourth grade. The Alamo began as the Mission San Antonio de Valero by the Roman Catholic missionaries from Spain. Founded in 1716 as part of a Spanish plan to Christianize Native Americans and colonize northern New Spain. By 1793 Spain dissolved the mission through the process of secularization.
Since then the Mission has provided housing for Mexican and Spanish troops, Indians, and squatters. It has been a hospital, a warehouse, jail, Masonic lodge, troop garrison, public park, movie set, and tourist attraction.
Around the 1800’s Spanish cavalry from the Mexican town of El Alamo set up shop in the mission and people began referring to it as “the Alamo.”
The Alamo is a symbol of liberty and a fight for independence. The Mexican army held a small band of Texans under siege in the Alamo. Badly outnumbered, The Texans lost the battle at the Alamo, but fought to the death trying to preserve their new country. The Republic of Texas formed in 1836 after defeating the Mexican army in the battle of San Jacinto.
Texans continue to revere the Alamo as a shrine to liberty, and that is what drew me to visit.
The Alamo is a short walk from the river walk, and is well worth taking the time to see it if you are there.
Little known is the string of Spanish missions that extend northward. Five missions spaced about two miles apart existed to convert the Indians and to colonize for Spain around 1720. One of the nicest is Mission San Jose, just a few miles north of the Alamo on Mission Road. The church façade at San Jose has been restored to its original appearance. Five separate bodies control the mission: the City of San Antonio, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, the State of Texas, the National Park Service, and the San Antonio Conservation Society. A park ranger explained that to keep a separation of church from state, the National Park Service owns and operates the property except for the church and the ground it stands on. It belongs to the Archdiocese of San Antonio. San Jose is an active parish church with a thriving congregation.
My photos don’t do justice to the beauty of this church.
- Remember the Alamo – San Antonio, TX (travelpod.com)
- Remembering The Alamo in San Antonio (laughingsquid.com)
- Supporters, protesters meet President Obama in the Alamo City (kens5.com)