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Nature's Creations Inspired Our Own

Peeling back the layers of history

Where four Texas ecological zones intersect, so too do our roots in innovation, discovery and adventure. While found artifacts date back over 10,000 years, the recorded history of our city began in 1693, when it was named San Antonio de Padua by a Spanish Franciscan priest. In 1718, the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero (which was relocated and later called the Alamo) and a military presidio on the riverbank marked the official birth of this city that would endure and grow for hundreds of years.

Progress continued to swell the riverbanks through 1920 when the San Antonio Conservation Society created a space for parks, shops, restaurants, offices and hotels, that became the River Walk as we know it today. San Antonio celebrated its 250th anniversary by hosting the 1968 World’s Fair, which the city accommodated with a lengthened River Walk, opening it to river barges and setting the stage for national attention that’s made the Paseo del Rio one of the state’s top visitor destinations.

 

Welcoming San Antonio’s Missions to the world

The construction of San Antonio’s five missions laid a cultural foundation along the river in the 1700s. Along with Mission San Antonio de Valero, Missions San José, Concepción, San Juan and Espada served the native people by teaching them skills, trades, religion
and the Spanish language. Today, the missions remain active church parishes for their surrounding communities and serve as an inspiration to the world as a recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, only the 23rd such site in the U.S. Learn More.