San Antonio is home to five old missions…but by far the most popular and well remembered is The Alamo. This was originally known as Misión San Antonio de Valero and it was designed as a Spanish mission, serving those as missionaries bringing Christianity to the area. The mission became a working school offering education to the Native Americans of the area. After years of serving in this purpose, the building was abandoned for the next decade. With the Mexican War of Independence, parts of the mission became a political prison holding prisoners of war. After that it served as a hospital.
In 1821 The Alamo was transferred from Spanish control to Mexican control when it became a garrison of the Mexican army. It was during this time that Texas was undergoing their own revolution however. When after a battle the Mexican army retreated, many believed that the unrest between the Texians and Mexicans was at an end and rebuilding of The Alamo started. But the unrest was not at an end. In February of 1836 , the newly appointed President-General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna lay siege to the Alamo with the intent of retaking the city of San Antonio. For 13 days The Alamo was under attack, cut off from reinforcements and supplies as they held their ground in the small building. In the final battle on March 6, The Alamo fell, the Mexican army victorious. But with a renewed force and a battle cry of ‘Remember the Alamo’ Texan settlers and immigrants alike joined forces and defeated the Mexican army in a battle in April thereby ending the rebellion.
Visiting The Alamo is a somber experience as you see the small room where the Texians stood their ground, knowing that victory was impossible. They were outnumbered, with no help coming and supplies dwindling. Yet they managed to stand their ground for weeks with true Texas grit. This is such a pivotal point of Texas history and a key element of the Southwest in general that no visit to San Antonio could be complete without it.
For more on this incredible historical site, go to:: https://www.thealamo.org/