More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre complex known worldwide as “The Alamo.” Most come to see theold mission where a small band of Texans held out for thirteen days against the Centralist army of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Although the Alamo fell in the early morning hours of March 6, 1836, the death of the Alamo Defenders has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of Liberty. The memories of James Bowie, David Crockett, and William B. Travis are as powerful today as when the Texan Army under Sam Houston shouted “Remember the Alamo!” as it routed Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. The Alamo has been managed by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas since 1905. Located on Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo represents nearly 300 years of history. Three buildings – the Shrine, Long Barrack Museum and Gift Museum – house exhibits on the Texas Revolution and Texas History. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the beautiful Alamo Gardens. Just a short distance from the River Walk, the Alamo is a “must see” for all who come to San Antonio.
History of The Alamo
In the 18th century, the Spanish church established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River, primarily to extend its dominion northward from Mexico, but also to convert the native population. What remains of the largest concentration of missions in North America provides an interesting look into Texas’ history.The first mission established in San Antonio, the Alamo (San Antonio de Valero) served as a way station between east Texas and Mexico. It was already 100 years old when it fell in the notorious Battle of the Alamo and became an inspiration and a motivation for liberty during the Texas Revolution.For 13 days in 1836, around 200 Texas defenders held the Alamo from over one thousand of General Santa Anna’s troops. The defenders, William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett, would die fighting overwhelming odds for freedom.
Today of The Alamo
Fifty years ago, the Alamo made its way onto the big screen and into the international consciousness as never before. What John Wayne’s historic rendering of Davy Crockett may have lacked in some historical accuracy was more than made up for in impact, to such a degree that nowadays it’s hard to tell fact from fiction.The curvaceous façade and the legend behind it have made their mark on the international consciousness in ways that range from the iconic to the comic; as a symbol of heroism, courage and sacrifice, and, as is the case with any symbol, a target for satire.Alamo Historian and Curator Bruce Winders says “It’s a blessing because people remember the Alamo. We like them to remember it for the history, but sometimes they remember it for something that’s irreverent and out of context.”The Alamo is a Great Place For Vacations.
Alamo & San Antonio Missions
In the 18th century, the Spanish empire established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River, primarily to extend its dominion northward from Mexico, but also to convert the native population. What remains of the largest concentration of missions in North America provides an interesting look into Texas’ history.Today’s Mission Trail links four of the missions: San José, Concepción, San Juan and Espada with its nearby aqueduct. The fifth is the Alamo itself – much modified but firmly fixed in the minds of camera-toting history buffs as the scene of a battle that helped secure Texas’ independence from Mexico.
The Alamo is located at 300 Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio, Texas. To Reach the Alamo from U.S. 281/Interstate 37 southbound, exit at Houston Street, turn right, and proceed three blocks to Avenue E, turn left and continue to the intersection of Houston and Alamo Plaza USA travel destinations. From Interstate 37 northbound, exit at Commerce Street, turn left on Commerce and proceed ten blocks to Alamo Plaza, turn right and continue on one and one half blocks. Parking is available at several pay lots in the vicinity of the Alamo.