‘Bout Time! UN Declares The Alamo & San Antonio Missions World Heritage Sites

Few peoples are so proud of their history and culture as Texans, and Texas history is without doubt the stuff of legends. Sites like The Alamo in San Antonio have been maintained as memorials to honor men who rival myth; William Barret Travis, David Crockett, James Bowie, James Fannin, and Sam Houston, among others.

But Santa Anna and his Mexican troops underestimated the spirit of the Texians they were fighting. After the Massacre of Goliad and the bloodbath at The Alamo, before which Travis sent out his famous “Victory or Death!” letter, Texian General Sam Houston and his armies were so outraged and galvanized that they overtook the Mexican tyrant and quickly overwhelmed him.

In a bloody 18 minute battle, Texian forces defeated the Mexican troops, captured Santa Anna, and won Texas independence to the cries of “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”

Our Lady of Guadalupe carving on the facade of Mission San José

Nearly 200 years later, this past Sunday, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Convention granted historic status to the San Antonio Missions, which include The Alamo (AKA Mission Valero), Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission Espada, and Mission San Juan.

Mission San Juan exterior

The UN is stingy with it’s historic acknowledgements, however The San Antonio missions will join other famous American icons (mostly natural wonders) already on the list, including:

  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Independence Hall
  • Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Chaco Culture
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
  • Taos Pueblo
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
  • Papahānaumokuākea
  • Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point
Mission Espada

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