Just a block away from a San Antonio River Walk exit point, at 300 Alamo Plaza, you can visit The Alamo. With over 4 million visitors per year, the Alamo is one of the most visited historic sites in the United States. The Alamo is a location of a key battle in the Texas Revolution against Mexico. The Alamo is now a museum, managed by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and dedicated to the memory of the missionaries that lived and worked in the Alamo, and the men that died in the Battle of the Alamo. You can pick up a souvenir at the gift shop, see antique weapons, or watch a reenactment, by people dressed in Revolutionary clothes. Alamo entry is free. This is a must-see if you’re in San Antonio.
Built-in 1718, the Alamo is a 4.2-acre complex made up of the Shrine, the Long Barracks, house exhibits, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library (open to researchers only), and several outdoor attractions including the Alamo Gardens, an ancient well, and knowledgeable volunteers that provide entertainment and historical information to Alamo visitors.
The Alamo Shrine
The Alamo Shrine sometimes referred to as the Texas Shrine of Liberty, is the main building and is usually what a person thinks of as the Alamo. On the entrance to the Alamo Shrine is an inscription that reminds visitors of the sacredness of what they are experiencing. The inscription reads, ‘Be Silent Friend Here Heroes Died To Blaze a Trail For Other Men’. Inside the shrine is a list of the names of those who died in the battle. The Chapel also contains a bronze plaque with the inscription, ‘In honor of those Alamo heroes whose names history did not record’. The research continues as to new names that may be added to the list.
The Long Barracks
The Long Barracks, on the Alamo complex grounds, contains a small museum. Inside the Long Barracks, visitors can view paintings, weapons, and other artifacts from the Texas Revolution. Guests may also view the large mural known as The Wall of History. The Wall of history displays a timeline of the Texas Revolution along with pictures. The Alamo Long Barracks also contains the gift shop where visitors can buy clothing items, souvenirs, maps, books, and much more.
Alamo Defenders Memorial
In front of the Alamo, the complex is a large Alamo Defenders Memorial. This memorial is also known as the Centopath. The word cent path refers to a monument or memorial to honor a person or people whose remains are elsewhere or lost. This memorial has sculptures of some of the Alamo defenders sculpted by Italian Immigrant and San Antonio resident, Pompeo Coppini.
The Alamo History
From early childhood, Texas children are taught about the Alamo and the battle that took place there. The Alamo Mission, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero after Saint Antonio, has been designated as an official state shrine in honor of the Texans that died in the Battle of the Alamo.
The Battle of the Alamo (Feb 23 – Mar 6, 1836) is the most famous battle of the Texas revolutionaries war against Mexico. In this battle, the Texan revolutionaries were outnumbered and cornered in the Alamo mission by the Mexican army led by President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Two attempts to siege the Alamo failed before the Texans were finally overtaken on the third attack. Alamo historians agree that between 182 and 257 Texans were killed in this battle and between 400 and 600 Mexicans were killed. Although the Texans lost the battle, it was remembered throughout the rest of the war and gave life to the cause of Texas Independence and was the reason for a phrase that is remembered still today,”Remember the Alamo!”
Alamo Defenders: The key defenders of the Alamo are alive in Texas history in much the same way George Washington, George Mason, and Abraham Lincoln are alive in U.S. history. Among the defenders of the Alamo were some of the most remembered men in Texas History. The Commanding Officer in the Alamo was William B. Travis. William Travis is thought to be the first killed in Mexico’s final attack against the Alamo. Travis’ co-commander, David Crockett, remembered now as ‘Davy Crockett’, was also a hero of the Battle of the Alamo. Davy Crockett played a big part in keeping the morale of the troops as high as possible under the dire circumstances. The commander of the volunteers, James “Jim” Bowie has been given the status of a legend in Texas history due to his reputation as a fighter, a pioneer, and a Frontiersman.