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Alamo Mission in San Antonio

Alamo Mission in San Antonio

Alamo Mission in San Antonio was originally not known by that name and was named Mission San Antonio de Valero.

This is a former Catholic mission, which is now a museum, located in Texas. The buildings were built in the eighteenth century by the Spaniards for educational purposes - there had to be educated Indians who had converted to Christianity. At that time the Spaniards founded many missions in southern Texas.

The mission was named after Saint Anthony and the Viceroy of New Spain Baltasar de Zuniga y Guzman Sotomayor y Sarmiento, Marquess of Valero.

The mission became within several years a large complex that extends over an area of one hectare. There was a large building for priests and brick huts for the Indians of the mission. There was a workshop for the production of fabrics. In the mission lived over three hundred Indians who had adopted Christianity. They had over three thousand cows and sheep, but also large areas planted with grain and vegetables. To produce textiles, the Indians grew large quantities of cotton.

San Antonio - Alamo Mission

Especially beautiful was the chapel of the mission, which should be three-story, but the third floor was not completed. The chapel followed the form of a classic cross. Since the chapel remained without a dome, it probably has not have served the church. The chapel was richly decorated with statues of saints.

The mission served as the perfect defense of its inhabitants and in 1745, when over three hundred Apaches attacked the mission, the hundreds of Indians who were in the mission, could withstand the attack. In 1758 the mission was walled, by a wall two meters and forty centimeters high and thick sixty centimeters. In 1762 for additional protection in the main gate a tower was built, with three guns.

Residents of the Mission decreased, in 1777 there lived only forty-four people. In 1793 behind the walls lived only twelve Indians.

In 1803, ten years after it was abandoned, the mission turned into a headquarters of the Mexican Army and was probably then called the Alamo.

In 1835 a small group of Texas soldiers were sent to the Mission, which was surrounded by a wall. Higher Military Command ordered Colonel James Bowie to destroy the castle, but it is unreasonable to resist and he said just the opposite – he began to strengthen walls and buildings. On February 23 the Mexican army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna started the siege of the Alamo mission. That siege ended on the sixth of March with a sudden attack, in which they killed absolutely all soldiers in the fortress.

After the Texas Revolution finally ended, Mexicans destroyed most of the buildings of the Alamo mission. For five years thereafter, Texas and Mexican soldiers used the Alamo as their mission base, but then it was completely abandoned. The chapel of the mission was sold to Texas, but there had not been taken any measures for restoration of the chapel, neither of the destroyed buildings or walls. Much of the buildings were sold to commercial companies, which used them as warehouses for their goods.

Only in 1912 began restoration work in the mission, to be returned to its original authentic look. Today, Alamo mission is visited by a huge amount of tourists each year, and the chapel is considered a symbol of the freedom of Texas.



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