San Antonio Journals

San Antonio: Historic Attractions

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An October 2003 trip to San Antonio by wildhoney269

The Alamo Photo, San Antonio, Texas More Photos
Quote: Instead of visiting a museum to learn about San Antonio History, we decided to take a walking tour that guided us to some of the historic places in the downtown area. When finished we felt culturally fulfilled and discovered many hidden gems.

San Antonio: Historic Attractions

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Overview

The Alamo Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
I like to travel a certain way when I travel to cities. . . eat the food they are known for, visit at least one museum, and do or see something cultural. We wanted to focus on downtown instead of driving over to visit the museums. We liked the concept of just wandering around downtown, so I found a walking tour of some historic places in the downtown area. While I longed to go see artworks at the McNay or San Antonio Art Museum, I settled for spending our few free hours walking around and observing some interesting history about both San Antonio itself and the state of Texas. San Antonio is the only major Texan city founded before Texas won its independence from Mexico. During its early days, ...Read More

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero)

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Attraction | "The Alamo"

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Alamo really is an astonishing place. I have to admit that I went just because I was "supposed" to go and see it since I was in San Antonio. I knew it had something to do with Texas independence, but that was about it. I was pretty sure that they had lost the battle, so I didn’t understand the importance. In fact, the men fighting for independence against an oppressive Mexican general, Santa Anna, did lose the fight. But it was a victory in defeat. Once others heard of the injustice done at the Alamo, people from all over the states came to Texas to help fight for freedom. Over 100 years before the fighting began, when San Antonio was part of Spanish territory, the Alamo was built as a miss...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2003

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero)
300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 225-1391

Menger Hotel

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Attraction | "The Menger Hotel"

Menger Hotel Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
We stopped into the Menger Hotel because we heard from a friend that it was THE place to stay! We opted to stay at the Fairmount, a Wyndham Historic Hotel, instead, but we did indeed visit the Menger, which is located right next to the Alamo. William Menger, a German immigrant, built the hotel in 1859. Menger had already established Texas’s first brewery on this spot when he added the hotel because we wanted a place for the hard-drinking guests of the brewery to spend the night. Before the hotel, they would sleep passed out on his long bar! The hotel he built is not just a few rooms on top of a saloon, but is a gorgeous creation. The lobby of the hotel you see today is still the same three-tiere...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 21, 2003

Menger Hotel
204 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 223-4361

St. Joseph's Downtown Church

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Attraction | "St. Joseph's Catholic Church"

St. Joseph's Downtown Church Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
When thinking of things to see while visiting San Antonio, churches probably don’t come to mind. However, when you dig into San Antonio history a little bit, you realize there are three strong cultures at play; Spanish, Mexican, and German. The Alamo is the most popular site in San Antonio, and it reinforces both the Spanish and Mexican history. But visiting a place like St. Joseph’s Catholic Church lets the visitor experience some German history as well. The church itself was built for the German community of San Antonio in 1876. The architecture is of a Gothic revivalist style, and one of its best features is the set of colorful stained-glass windows. The altar, statues, and stations-of-the-cr...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 21, 2003

St. Joseph's Downtown Church
623 East Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas 78213
(210) 227-012

San Fernando Cathedral

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Attraction

San Fernando Cathedral Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Legend has it that Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands gathered on March 9, 1731 and said "Here we will begin. The Church will stand at the center of our city." An on that spot they built the San Fernando Cathedral. The church you enter today is the 1968 Gothic revivalist cathedral, which just underwent a massive renovation. Three walls of the original church started by the Canary Island settlers still stand today and form the oldest Roman Catholic sanctuary in the United States, making it the oldest continuously active parish in Texas. The graveyard is the site of the earliest marked graves in San Antonio. The remains of the defenders of the Alamo can be found in this cathedra...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2003

San Fernando Cathedral
115 Main Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 227-1297

Spanish Governor's Palace

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Attraction

Spanish Governor's Palace Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Spanish Governor's Palace is the result of an early-17th-century rivalry between Spain and France for dominance over the territory, now a part of the southwestern United States. Spain had Texas and the West, and France had the lands which were part of the Louisiana Purchase. Labeled "the most beautiful building in San Antonio" by the National Geographic Society and a national historic landmark, it often housed officials of the Spanish Province of Texas, but no Spanish governor actually ever lived here. In fact, this was the former residence and headquarters of the captain of the Presidio de Bexar. From here, the commander could watch his troops drilling across the street. The source of the h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2003

Spanish Governor's Palace
105 Plaza de Armas
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 210 224 0601