Deep within Texas history lies this infamous structure that stands as a symbol of independence for the state. The Alamo has been an important landmark for Texans as well as a popular tourist attraction for people around the world. Every year over two million people explore the remnants of this historic mission and learn about its turbulent history. Today it is known as the “Shrine of Texas Liberty”.
History of the Alamo
While several Spanish missions had been established and destroyed by the harsh elements of the Texas wilderness, the current mission location was established after 1724. Over the years the mission grew to create a settlement and even sprawled several acres. While the mission thrived with the help of its residents to provide a self sufficient environment. Cattle, furniture, textiles and gardens were all abundant to sustain life at the remote colony.
Over the next several decades the mission grew to serve as a safe house and important landmark in the rural land that would someday become Texas. By the early 1800s the mission was nearly abandoned and left to the seasons of time. Leading up to the famed Battle of the Alamo, the mission served as military barracks, a political prison and San Antonio’s first hospital.
Following Mexico’s independence from Spain, Mexican soldiers stayed at the site for several more years. Texans soon took hold of the mission and James Bowie was sent to destroy to the Alamo. A vote was decided to keep the fortress and reinforcements were sent. William Travis and James Bowie joint commanded the mission.
Despite the Texan’s idea of establishing a hold on the fort, General Santa Anna wanted to recapture the landmark and surrounding city. After a thirteen day siege, the Texans fought hard but were greatly outnumbered by the vast forces of the Mexican army. Even though the Mexican army took hold of the fort for a few more months, they were forced to leave following the Texan victories at the Battle of San Jacinto.
With the establishment of the Republic of Texas, soldiers remained at the mission. Confederate forces were defending the fort during the Civil War and it was later abandoned again with the founding of nearby Fort Sam Houston. As tourism began to increase to the area it became a popular Texas landmark.
Today the Alamo still stands as a reminder of how the lives of the brave Texans that fought for the Alamo will never be forgotten.
Visiting the Alamo
The Alamo is situated in downtown San Antonio and open for tours. For updated travel information and facts about admission and hours please visit https://www.thealamo.org/. See the map below for a more detailed location of the Alamo.
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