The Alamo Mission in San Antonio (Spanish: Misión de Álamo), commonly known as The Alamo Mission and originally known as the San Antonio de Valero Mission, is a historic Spanish mission and fortress founded in the 18th century by Roman Catholic missionaries in what is now San Antonio, Texas, United States. It was at the site of the Battle of Alamo in 1836. It is now a museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District and part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site.
The meaning of places can change dramatically over time. There is no better example of this transition than the remains of the mission complex established by Franciscan missionaries as the San Antonio de Valero Mission in 1718. Known today as The Alamo, this Spanish mission complex was the first of the San Antonio missions to convert local American Indians to Christianity. Eventually the mission became a community of Spanish, Mexican, and American Indian Catholics. After being secularized at the end of the 18th century, and during the Mexican struggle for independence from Spain, the building fell into disuse.
During the Texas Revolution, a small garrison of Texan soldiers defended The Alamo against the Mexican army, and their defeat and deaths became a rallying cry for Texas independence. Today the Alamo, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio and remains an important part of Texas history.
At the end of the 17th century, the Spanish settlement of Texas was designed to deter French colonial expansion west of Louisiana. As in other parts of Spanish America, the Franciscans set up missions in the lands of native peoples, spreading Spanish culture and Catholicism. Fray Antonio de Olivares led the Franciscan missionaries who founded the mission of San Antonio de Valero in 1718. It was moved to another location a year later. Father Olivares reported that there were 50 different tribes in the area north of the Rio Grande and San Antonio rivers, but over time, epidemic disease and the concentration of people in the missions caused an enormous drop in population. The groups originally at San Antonio de Valero included Payaya, Jarame, and Pamaya. One of the reasons these people chose to enter missions was the protection the presidios and missions offered against Apache raids.
In 1724, a devastating hurricane destroyed the mission church, and the entire mission community moved a few hundred yards north to where The Alamo stands today. The construction of the present stone mission complex began in 1744. The complex included a chapel, a convent, small dwellings, storehouses and workshops. The natives of the mission learned quickly, becoming adept weavers, carpenters, stone masons, blacksmiths, and farmers. Miles of acequia or irrigation ditches, some of which remain visible, were dug and fed fields where corn, beans, cotton, melon, grapes, figs and chili peppers were grown. Thousands of sheep, oxen, cattle, burros, and horses were also part of the mission's holdings.
The first person to be named a cowboy or cowboy on a mission in what became Texas was a Ziaguan Indian named Carlos who was killed by Apaches in 1728. As the Apache raid continued, the mission was fortified by a large gate, a turret, and three cannons. The Franciscan mission there lasted until the end of the 18th century, when disease, desertion, and raiding took their toll on the native population of the settlement. The mission was secularized in 1793 and became the Pueblo de Valero self-governing.
This amazing historic site is located in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, along with these other must-see important historical sites for you to check out:
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