Anyone who has ever visited San Antonio immediately wants to go see the Alamo. When you arrive, you almost walk by it, as it is in the heart of downtown. To Texans, however, the Alamo bears a lot more significance than just a landmark.Several important moments in history took place within its walls. Here are a few you may or may not know about:
- Mission, Military outpost, Landmark: Most people know the Alamo was originally one of several missions in the San Antonio area, then it became a Mexican military outpost. From there, as the Mexican military felt it was no longer worth fortifying, they left and Texans made it their own fort. Texans would overtake the Alamo, which made Santa Anna re-evaluate the strategic value in the fight to take Texas. Fast forward a few years and the Battle of the Alamo later, the Alamo was used by the US Army as an outpost. Eventually it was sold to a private citizen group, then bought back by the city to turn into a historic landmark.
- Tactically acquired cannons: "Texians" or local Texas Mexicans began to create militias against Mexico and Mexico wanted to disarm the cannons from them. This is where the "Come and Take it" flag originated as the Texians had a cannon Mexico was attempting to reacquire. Eventually the cannon and the flag were taken to San Antonio.
- Line in the Sand: If you go to the Alamo grounds, you will see a metallic line in the ground. This line symbolizes the gesture of Col. William Travis, who supposedly drew the line and asked who would join him in the battle or who would not and surrender. There is no hard proof this actually happened, however, it has been a local legend for decades.
- Nearly burned to the ground: When you go to the Alamo today, most of what you are looking at is a refurbished version of the compound in its heyday. The Battle of the Alamo left the former mission in utter ruin. The walls were barely waist high, most of the chapel missing and still Santa Anna ordered the mission to be completely torn down. Yet, what was left after the Battle remained. Then rebuilt into the landmark we know today.
- World Heritage Site: In 2015, over 150 years after the Battle, the Alamo and four other San Antonio missions became a World Heritage Site. Ultimately, this means the Alamo is now deemed as important as a location like Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal when it comes to world history. Certainly a big feat if you ask us.
There are many historical battlegrounds in the United States. Although the Alamo is merely one of them, the historical value it has continues to be added to. As parts of the location of the Alamo are currently being renovated, more and more pieces to history are located.Have you been? Drop a comment!