San Antonia, Texas is full of a deep heritage of Spanish culture and religious revolution. Because of this rich American history as well as the current amazing “southern hospitality” of the people there, San Antonio home builders have been booming.
If you live in San Antonio or plan on a visit, it’s a great idea to look into these four prominent places to stop and take a look at. Be sure and bring your camera.
Famous Places in San Antonio
San Antonio once was part of the Spanish colony that achieved independence in the 19th century and subsequently became the state of Texas. It therefore occupies an important place in both global and American history. Many of the most prominent places in contemporary San Antonio are vestiges of the region’s colonial and revolutionary past.
The Alamo and Missions
During the early 18th century, the Catholic Church of Spain established five missions in what is now San Antonio with the goal of converting local indigenous people to Christianity. The first and most famous mission is the Alamo, known formerly as the San Antonio de Valero Mission. It already was 100 years old in 1836 when it became the site of the famous Battle of the Alamo between Texan revolutionaries and Mexican forces.
The other four missions — San Jose, Concepcion, San Juan and Espada — are located in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Espada encompasses a dam and aqueduct that are still in working order; San Jose is the largest of the five missions.
The Alamo and Concepcion missions, as well as the Espada Aqueduct, have been designated National Historic Landmarks.
Reminiscent of European public spaces, the San Antonio River Walk is a three-mile stretch of cobbled streets along its namesake river, which runs through the center of the city. The River Walk is steps away from the Alamo and lies 20 feet below street level. Though it connects many of San Antonio’s tourist attractions, including museums and restaurants, the River Walk’s waterfalls and quiet pools offer serenity.
Among the museums along the River Walk is the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is housed in the building that was once the Lone Star Brewery. The river itself is an important landmark, as it was part of the system that provided water for the construction of the missions.
There are several other structures in San Antonio that have been designated National Historic Landmarks, including the Spanish Governor’s Palace and Fort Sam Houston, established in 1845 and now an Army medical training facility.
Also among San Antonio’ most famous landmarks is the San Fernando Cathedral, which was completed in 1749. It became the parish of the Alamo community when the Spaniards secularized the mission in 1793.
Another prominent San Antonio edifice is the Tower of the Americas, which rises 750 feet in HemisFair Park. Both the park and the tower were built for the 1968 World’s Fair. The tower offers panoramic views of the city and a 4D theater ride.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Discovered by college students in 1960, the Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio are among the the largest show caverns in Texas. They are made up of layers of limestone that geologists believe were eroded by an underground stream. The caverns are listed on the National Register of Historical Places and archaeologists have discovered prehistoric artifacts at the entrance.
Visitors have several guided tours of the caverns to choose from. The most popular is the Discovery Tour, which encompasses a half-mile of the cavern and goes as deep as 180 feet below ground.
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