San Antonio History, Texas
In the Valley of the San Antonio River around the area of San Pedro Springs, there used to be Native Americans inhabiting the land. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who was a Native American shipwrecked captive, visited what is known today as Texas in 1536. He described and saw the river that we know today as the San Antonio River.
A Spanish group of missionaries and explorers found the Native American settlement and river on June 13th, 1961. The Spanish Council of War gave permission for the development of a fortified fort on a site by the river in 1716, and a fort was established on the river by the Domingo Ramón expedition. There was also permission given for Father Olivares to found a Catholic Mission by the site.
Martin de Alarcón, who was the Texas governor in 1718, reinforced the fort, recognizing the 10 soldiers, along with their families, as being the official beginning of the site. The San Francisco de Solano Mission was moved to merge with the Mission San Antonio de Padua that same year, and Father Olivares gave the merged mission the new name of Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission, villa, and fort contained the municipality of San Antonion de los Llanos, which means San Antonio of the Plains. In 1719, the next year, the Mission moved to another site to the eastern bank of the river.
The fort was moved in 1721 by the Marquis de Aguayo to the site where it is now, which is on the Plaza de Armas. This was made the permanent quarters where the soldiers would stay. Five years later, in 1726, the population of the official settlement was 200, which included 45 soldiers and their families. In 1724, the Mission was moved again to its final site because of a hurricane that flooded its prior location; it was moved to the Alamo Plaza.
On March 9, 1731, at 11:00 in the morning, 16 Canary Islands families arrived at the Fort of San Antonion de Bexar. The King of Spain decreed that they establish the La Villa de San Fernando, and the first Texas civil government was founded as well. Each of the families were given noble titles by the King of Spain, and many of their descendants still live in San Antonio today.
San Antonio has substantially grown over the years, and unlike many of the larger cities in the country, this city is not totally surrounded by suburban cities. Under the law of Texas, San Antonio has extraterritorial jurisdiction over a lot of the unincorporated and surrounding land.
Things about San Antonio you may be interested in
Read our members' reviews about San Antonio
- The best bars of San Antonio
review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
Drawing on the rich cultural inheritance, nightlife in San Antonio’s reflects various influences at work in this city from the country western to Mexican and European. If you are in search of a place to just to grab a drink, there are lots of bars along River Walk also along the North St....
Read our members' travel tips about San Antonio
- Steves Homestead
travel tip by Malika posted more then 30 days ago
The most imposing and rich building we saw in San Antonio was the Steves Homestead, built in the late 19th century. Home of a wealthy tradesman, Edward Steves, the house and the whole property was later donated to the San Antonio...
- The Alamo
travel tip by Sistazzione posted more then 30 days ago
Just across from the popular Riverwalk, The Alamo is a historical landmark with a rich and heroic history. Originally built as a mission, the building has been transformed into a museum and is now visited by people from all over the...
- McNay Art Museum
travel tip by Johan posted more then 30 days ago
Though with a smaller collection than other Art Museums, the McNay Art Museum is a small treasure chest of artworks of the past 2 centuries. Only a few paintings or sculptures of famous names such as Cezanne or Picasso can be found here,...
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