San Antonio de Valero Mansion, also commonly known as The Alamo is a Spanish fortress and a mission established in the 18th century by Fray Antonio de Olivares. This renowned location acted as a site for the Battle of Alamo in 1836. Currently, the San Antonio de Valero Mansion falls under the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site and it is also a famous museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District. The chapel is the only original fort that visitors get to see today at the mission, except for the long barracks and the walls encompassing the area. A library and a museum are present near the chapel that features a narration of what went down during the battle, along with the displays of mementos and relics from the Texas. Check out this guide to San Antonio de Valero Mission for a knowledgeable yet unforgettable experience.
Things to do / highlights
One of the most significant monuments on the grounds, the chapel at San Antonio De Valero Mission has become a memorial to the defenders of Alamo.
This was once built as a two-story convent where it served as Spanish missionaries’ offices and quarters. Most of the members from the Battle of the Alamo took shelter in the building where they took the last stand against the soldiers of Santa Anna. The design of the mission has a blend of the original architecture and the modern, renovated style.
This attraction served as a burial ground during the entire mission period.
Centennial Museum (Gift Shop)
Tourists often think that the gift shop situated here is a part of the Alamo compound as Alamo has been housing this building since 1937. In the museum, tourists can explore several historic artifacts, along with the ability to purchase souvenirs that are sold here to raise money for the mission.
While exploring the Mission San Antonio de Valero, near the River Walk, ensure to check out the number of pedestrian bridges, Alamo Gardens, trails, and more. Along with this, also check out the other **four Spanish colonial missions situated near Alamo including San José, Concepción, San Juan Capistrano, and Espada.
Mission San José
Renowned as the “Queen of the Missions,” Mission San José, the largest mission was established in 1720, in San Antonio. The mission was built using colorful stucco and Texas limestone, which was ideated by Spanish designers. It provided a cultural and social community, along with a sanctuary for several Indians. In 2011, the mission underwent a renovation for the altar backdrop, domes, and the walls.
Originating in 1755, Mission Concepción sticks to its true roots especially when it comes to its authentic look, feel, and design. This church is recognized as the oldest unrestored stone church in the country. Most of the paintings on the outside have faded, but when you look closely, you might see the beautiful murals in the church rooms.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Back in the 1700s, Mission San Juan’s fertile farmlands were utilized as the self-sustainable community. Today, there is a bell and a chapel that is still active. While here, check out the Romanesque archway, nestled at the entrance.
Mission Espada, established in 1731, is renowned for its irrigation system that is still preserved extremely well. A fire that occurred in 1826 damaged the mission buildings, where only the granary, compound walls, and the chapel remained intact. Tree of Life, otherwise known as Arbol de Vida, is the newest installation at Espada, which tells personal tales and stories of the locals of San Antonio. The other highlight of this place is the stone archway.
Apart from the beautiful sceneries that you will admire, you will also appreciate the amenities that come with it.
Off-season visit: Escape the crowds during the off-season and early hours. Summer is usually the peak season and you would find quite a few visitors throughout the year.
Accommodation: There are plenty of options for accommodation nestled at a walking distance from The Alamo.
Public facilities: Toilets are available during the opening hours of the attraction.
Special amenities: Most of the main sections are easily accessible by wheelchair, whereas some of the parts can’t be .
Masses: Catholic masses and services are regularly held here.
Alert: Since it is a shrine, photography isn’t allowed within the chapel.
How to get there
If you happen to either rent a car or own a car, it is certainly one of the convenient options to travel through each of the missions. Free parking is also available at the Mission location.
One way to have an active lifestyle is by walking! There are dedicated cycle and pedestrian pathways, which are connected to the River Walk of San Antonio. You can take this route and also walk to all the four missions. But, note that this is a one-way pathway. So, taking a taxi or a bus is a great option while returning.
The popular option to get from one place to another is by riding a bike. This activity can be followed either along the Mission Reach River Walk or use the biking route, which goes through Alamo and the other missions.
If you are planning to take a bus, then bus number 40 will take you to The Alamo. It starts from San Antonio’s downtown and passes by all the missions on the way. The nearest bus stop to Alamo is just a five-minute walk away.
If you want to learn about the attractions that you are seeing, the entire history of it, along with transportation facilities, then opting for a tour fits the bill right.
Taxi or Uber
Along with these options, another best way is to hail a taxi ride or book yourself an Uber to get around each attraction.
There are two ways to book the tickets to the San Antonio de Valero Mission. One is by checking out their official website for the tickets and second is by opting for a tour package for some of the best deals. You can check it out at third party websites such as GetYourGuide.
San Antonio: UNESCO World Heritage Missions Small-Group Tour
Duration: 3 hour
San Antonio De Valero Mission information
San Antonio De Valero Mission
Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States
Opening hours: 9am - 5:30pm (daily)
Official website: San Antonio De Valero Mission
Department of tourism: San Antonio
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