The Alamo

exterior of the alamo

The Alamo is a historic church and fortress in San Antonio, Texas, most famous for the 1836 Battle of the Alamo which took place there. Today, the Alamo offers a fascinating glimpse into the heart of Texas history. 


The Alamo, also called the Alamo Mission, has a unique history. Although it’s most famous for being a military outpost, when it was originally built in the early 1700s, it was a Catholic mission used to educate American Indians who had converted to Christianity.


Eventually the building was abandoned, only to find a new life as a military outpost. 


This strong stone structure was occupied at times by Spain, Mexico, Texas, the United States, and even Confederate troops during the Civil War. Many important battles were fought here. Most famously, during the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, several American folk heroes died including James Bowie and Davy Crockett.

Today, you can explore this beautiful historical structure yourself or pay for a guided tour. Admission to the Alamo is free, but be sure to make a reservation!

visitors browse the alamo museum

As you tour the Alamo, the first thing you’ll see is the Church, or “Shrine,” which is the Alamo’s most recognizable structure. 


After touring the church, head on back and take a look at the Long Barrack. The Long Barrack was built almost 300 years ago and is the Alamo’s oldest building. Throughout its long history it has been used to house Spanish missionaries, and later, soldiers. This barrack is where many members of the Alamo’s garrison withdrew during their famous last stand in 1836.


All these historic buildings will make you curious to know what life was like in the time of the Texas Revolution. Good news! Behind the church you will find living historians, dressed in clothing styles from 1836, who will tell you all about what life was like back then. You’ll learn about how people lived their day-to-day lives, including what skills they learned and how they took care of their health. 


After that fascinating living history, if you want to know more details about the history of the Alamo you can go straight to the Alamo exhibit. Here you can see historic documents and artifacts, including guns and uniforms. 


But if you want to skip to the really exciting stuff, head over and check out the cannon. Yes, that’s right, the cannon! 


In 1836, the famous siege of the Alamo began when an 18-pounder cannon was fired into the Mexican encampment. Although this cannon was later lost to history, today the Alamo has an exact replica on display.


Besides these main attractions, the Alamo also features statues, a courtyard, gardens, and other beautiful and historic places. Although many of the key battlefield locations are currently hidden under the streets of San Antonio, a guided tour will show you all those locations, allowing you to close your eyes and imagine that you are there. 


To find the Alamo, head to 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205. You and your family will have a wonderful time learning about the history of this iconic location. 


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painting of the battle of the alamo