The Alamo, Icon of History
In the eighteenth century, Spanish Franciscans established five missions along the San Antonio River: San Juan Capistrano, Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña, San Francisco de la Espada, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, and San Antonio de Valero, the oldest of the five and known today as the Alamo. The Mission San Antonio de Valero, founded in 1718, along with the Presidio of San Antonio de Béxar, formed the basis of what would become the city of San Antonio. The settlement was a pivotal stop on the Camino Real—a network of roads of connecting the cities and towns of New Spain—from Mexico City to East Texas. Today, the mission is celebrated as the site of the 1836 battle by Texas patriots in their struggle for independence from Mexico. Collectively, the five missions represent the greatest concentration of extant Spanish colonial missions in North America and were named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO this year.
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