A Guide To Cathedral Of San Fernando

Cathedral Of San Fernando

Cathedral of San Fernando is often known as the heart of the Catholics’ religious community, and one of the must-visit places if you’re planning a holiday to San Antonio, Texas and as one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States, that also recorded on the list of National Register of Historic Places. Many people are even familiar to this church’s other name, Cathedral of Our Lady of Candelaria and Guadalupe (Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria y Guadalupe). The Cathedral of San Fernando was believed to be built between 1738 and 1750, earning it the title of one of the oldest cathedrals in Texas. Back in 2003, a massive renovation project was done on the building to make it as gorgeous and beautiful as today. The community surrounding it are holding a variety of events at the church, from weddings, baptism, to the community’s annual events. Keep reading the article to get a guide to Cathedral of San Fernando.

Things to do/Highlights

Xavier de Richemont Light Show on San Fernando Cathedral
Source: Photo by user Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

Light show at San Fernando Cathedral

Visit the Cathedral on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and for around two hours, you will be entertained by a spectacular light show that will tell you the story of San Antonio. The light show itself runs for 24 minutes for each presentation, starting at 9pm, and it’s free of charge for you to enjoy.

Ghost tour of San Fernando Cathedral

Like many other historical buildings in the world, San Fernando Cathedral also comes with a ghost tour. Many guests who went for the ghost tour claim that they’d seen different kinds of ghosts inside the Cathedral. From faces on the wall (probably from people who were said to be buried inside the church walls), galloping sounds of old-time warhorses, to a dark figured man who followed a group only to vanish into thin air a few moments later. If you dare to explore the cathedral at night, this haunted tour might be your cup of tea.

Fiesta Week

It’s an annual festival in San Antonio, Texas, that’s being held to honour the events of The Alamo and San Jacinto battles. The Fiesta Week is usually held in April. A whole week of parades, music, and food from Texas’ neighbouring states partake in this event, making it even more attractive to tourists, both domestic and international. Check out their website to find out more.

What to eat

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Biga on the Banks

Whether you’re visiting San Antonio for a romantic holiday with your spouse on a family trip, or even a work trip, mealtime at Biga on the Banks will always a good time. They serve a wide range of menu, from seafood, steaks, to vegetarian. Make sure to give their sticky toffee pudding a try, and you will be looking forward to having some more off their menu.

Bella On Houston

A quick walk from Cathedral of San Fernando to this place might prepare you for their specialities ranging from European and Italian, to Mediterranean cuisine. The atmosphere is also one to enjoy until late in the night while sipping on a glass of wine. The service is top-notch, friendly and efficient, and they will accommodate really well if they come to know that you went for the light show at the cathedral. It’s very easy to say that dining at Bella on Houston will be one of the best highlights of your San Antonio trip.

La Panaderia Bakery Cafe

If you’re looking for sweet treats near the cathedral, then this place should be on your itinerary. La Panderia serves one of the best pastries and sandwiches in San Antonio, and a crowd favourite is tequila almond croissant. One try of this tempting pastry, you might find yourself stopping by at La Panaderia every day for breakfast or afternoon snack. Mind your time, so you won’t miss your flight while enjoying their food.

Travelers tips

San Fernando Cathedral
Source: Photo by user Ed Schipul used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Wheelchair access

If you’re travelling with a family member who use a wheelchair, you don’t have to worry. Cathedral of San Fernando provides access on the left side of the building, and there’s also another ramp available inside the church.


Since it’s considered a sacred place, it’s only logical to wear a polite and appropriate clothing when you’re visiting the cathedral.

Be considerate

It’s hard to deny that a church as beautiful as Cathedral of San Fernando must be an ultimate attraction for domestic and international tourists. Please remember that this cathedral is also a very active church with its many activities, so you might need to be considerate while taking photos, or keeping the talking volume down when you’re visiting during the time of mass.

How to get there

San Antonio Riverwalk
Source: Photo by user Prayitno / Thank ... used under CC BY 2.0

Rent a car

It’s quite easy to get to Cathedral of San Fernando, since it’s located at the heart of San Antonio, between Dolorosa and E-Commerce Street. If you’re driving from the city centre, you can rely on your GPS to get there easily.

Hail a cab

A taxi ride to San Fernando Cathedral probably will be as convenient as driving by yourself. You can call several taxi companies to get you to the church, e.g. San Antonio Pedicabs, National Cab, Uber or Lyft.

Take the bus

There are several buses that ply. To reach Cathedral of San Fernando, you can board bus number 3, 301, 43, 44, and 48. Pay attention to your stops, so you won’t have to walk too far to get to the cathedral from the bus stop.

Enjoy a walk

Of course, walking can also be an option to reach the cathedral. You can stroll along the River Walk until around one block to reach the cathedral. If you walk at night, you don’t have to worry since the path is well lit and very safe.

Cathedral of San Fernando information

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nicolas Henderson used under CC BY 2.0

Cathedral of San Fernando

Address: 115 Main Plaza, San Antonio, Texas

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed for lunch from 12pm - 1pm)

Official Website: Cathedral of San Fernando

Department of tourism: Visit San Antonio

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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