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Discovering San Antonio & A Brief History

Updated on July 8, 2013

Here Is A Look At The Alamo

History of San Antonio

San Antonio is a sophisticated, modern city that is still informed by a culturally-rich history. Like many places in the southwest, San Antonio was first put on the map by Spanish missionaries. In June 1691, Franciscan friar visited the spot where San Antonio would be founded on the feast day of St. Anthony. He named the location San Antonio de Padua in the saint's honor.

San Antonio was permanently settled on May 1, 1718, when the Spanish governor of Texas established the San Antonio de Bejar presidio, or fort, and the mission of San Antonio de Valero on the site of a Coahuiltecan Indian village. The mission would later become better-known as The Alamo. San Antonio remained a Spanish possession until 1812, when Mexico gained independence from Spain.

Davy Crockett

Texas At War

In October 1835, the Texas Revolution against Mexico started. In December a small group of 183 Texans holed up in The Alamo as they battled General Santa Ana's troops. The rebels, which included Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, were all killed but their deaths became an inspiration for all other Texans fighting for freedom, who went into battle shouting, "Remember the Alamo!" Six weeks after The Alamo massacre, Texans defeated the Mexican army at the battle of San Jacinto. Texas became an independent republic in 1836, and San Antonio was incorporated as a city on Jan. 5, 1837.

The arrival of the railroad in 1877 made San Antonio a key shipping hub for cattle and it remains a leading livestock center and one of the largest produce exchange markets. In the 20th century, the city also emerged as an important military center; it is currently home to five of the largest military installations in the nation, including Fort Sam Houston, constructed in 1876.

University Of San Antonio

Brightest City Of Texas

Today, San Antonio has over one million residents. It's a popular destination for college-bound teens, with five major colleges and universities including Trinity, St. Mary's, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Our Lady of the Lake. The climate is also a draw, as the city enjoys mild temperatures most of the year.

So for newcomers and long-time residents alike, San Antonio offers an eclectic combination of old and new, down-home and cultured, that makes it a fun and fascinating place to call home.

Feista San Antonio

Riverwalk of San Antonio

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