In 1718, at an Indian village in a pleasant wooded area of spring-fed streams at the southern edge of the Texas Hill Country, Spain established Mission San Antonio de Valero (later called the Alamo). A customary accompanying presidio (fort), San Antonio de Bexar (Bay-er), protected mission endeavors. Today's city and county names derive from those 18th-Century Spanish beginnings that predate founding of the United States by more than half a century.
Several other Spanish missions soon followed, but the city's real growth dates from establishment of a villa (civil settlement) in 1731, Spain's first step to colonize Texas. Original colonists were Spanish Canar Islanders, to whom many Texas families proudly trace their roots. San Antonio remained the chief Spanish, then Mexican stronghold in Texas until the Texas Revolution.
Among many nationalities, German builders and businessmen were prominent settlers in the 19th century. Today, San Antonio is colorfully accented by its multicultural heritage.
Institutions of higher learning include Incarnate Word College, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary's University, National University of Mexico, Trinity University, San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, St. Philips College, University of Texas Health Science Center a San Antonio, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Art museums and theaters are among the state's finest; its symphony orchestra rates with the nation's best, and San Antonians' love for fiestas is unsurpassed!
Some of those popular events include the Great Country River Festival in September the Holiday River Festival in December, the Texas Folklife Festival in August, the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo in mid-February, and at Easter the Starving Artists Show is held at La Villita and along the river walk.
Fiesta San Antonio spans 10 days the third and fourth weeks of April. This major event includes art exhibitions, coronation of King Antonio, :pilgrimage to the Alamo, concerts, band festivals, Battle of Flowers Parade, King's River Parade, Fiesta Night Parade, flower and fashion shows, musical productions, balls and street dancing, fireworks---and the fabulous series of "Nights in Old San Antonio."
For Literature and details about city attractions and events, and for a schedule of the San Antonio Streetcars---an inexpensive, fun way to get to many of the city's downtown attractions see our section on Visitor Information.
Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, built as part of the 1968 HemisFair, features 241,000 square feet of exhibit space, banquet halls, meeting rooms, and international conference center; arena for sporting and entertainment, and theater for the performing arts. " The Confluence of Civilizations: mural on the facade of the theater is by Juan O'Gorman of Mexico. With extension of San Antonio river actually flowing in the heart of the center, the river boats provide an unusual means for convention delegates to travel from riverside hotels to meetings.
ALAMO FARMS WINERY AND VINEYARD
ALAMO MUSEUM - D.R.T. LIBRARY
BUCKHORN HALL OF HORNS
CARVER CULTURAL CENTER
COWBOY MUSEUM AND GALLERY
FRIEDRICH WILDERNESS PARK
GENERAL COS HOUSE
GUADALUPE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER
HALL OF TEXAS HISTORY AND WAX MUSEUM
HERTZ BERG CIRCUS MUSEUM
INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES
JOSE ANTONIO NAVARRO STATE HISTORIC SITE
KING WILLIAM DISTRICT
McNAY ART MUSEUM
MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE
MILITARY BASES COMPLEX
MISSIONS OF SAN ANTONIO
PEAR APPLE COUNTY FAIR
PLAZA THEATER OF WAX
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
SAN ANTONIO ZOO
SAN FERNANDO CATHEDRAL
SEA WORLD OF TEXAS
SHOOTING STAR RANCH
SOUTH TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER
SOUTHWEST CRAFT CENTER
SPANISH GOVERNOR'S PALACE
TEXAS TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM
THE TEXAS STAR TRAIL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
WITTE MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND SCIENCE
YTURRI-EDUMNDS HISTORIC SITE
Nicavid's - Bakery and Cafe---5115 Fredericksburg Road - San Antonio, Texas 78229 -214-349-2222
Sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries, and MORE! Deli, Lunch, Catering
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