Article Content for The Alamo


Early History: Prehistoric - 1699

Before the arrival of European explorers beginning in the 1500’s, the lands eventually known as Northern Mexico and Texas were populated by tribes of indigenous people that represented many different kinds of cultures. Learn More »


The Mission Period: 1700-1793

The story of the Alamo begins with the establishment of the Mission San Francisco de Solano near the Rio Grande River in 1700.  There, Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares worked to convert many of the Coahuiltecan bands to Catholicism as the official religion of Spain.  After Olivares traveled to Texas with an expedition in 1709, he was struck by the San Antonio area and later recommended it to the Spanish viceroy, Marques de Valero, as a site for a mission waypoint on the road to Spanish settlements in East Texas. Learn More »


Decline of Spanish Rule: 1794-1821

In response to increased French and American threats from nearby Louisiana, Spain mobilized its military into the Texas frontier after the turn of the century.  Since San Antonio de Valero was now secularized, the Spanish military occupied the old mission compound and converted it into a frontier outpost and military garrison. Learn More »


Mexican Texas: 1822-1835

When Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1821, the Alamo remained a military outpost.  The soldiers of the Alamo Company shifted their allegiance to the newly formed independent nation.  Learn More »


Texas Revolution: 1835-1836

San Antonio de Béxar had long been an important place in Texas.  Not only was it home to a military garrison, it was a crossroads and center of commerce.  By the early 1830s, the town’s population had grown to nearly 2,500.  With the outbreak of revolt in Coahuila y Tejas, San Antonio even resumed its old role as the capital of Texas. Learn More »


Under The Republic: 1837-1845

A commonly held misconception regarding the Texas Revolution is that Sam Houston’s victory over Antonio López de Santa Anna ended the fighting between Mexico and Texas.  In reality, Mexico refused to give up its claim to Texas as well as the additional territory claimed by the new government of the Republic of Texas.  Cross border invasions – or “expeditions” – conducted by both sides further inflamed hostilities.  Both nations, however, lacked the money or resources necessary to hand the other a decisive and final defeat.  Learn More »


The Army Moves In: 1846-1877

San Antonio de Béxar and the Alamo greatly benefitted from annexation and statehood.  Centrally located and vital to Texas, San Antonio was already seen as an important civic and military asset. Learn More »


Warehouse to Shrine: 1878 -1905

With the departure of the U.S. Army, the remaining grounds of the Alamo compound were divided and sold for various uses.  The Catholic Church claimed ownership of the remaining mission buildings, while the city maintained ownership of the roads that passed through the mission grounds in front of the old church.  The Galera, or Low Barrack, served as the “gate” to the Alamo until the Church sold it to the city in 1871 so it could be demolished to make way for a grand new public plaza.  The mission compound lost its southern border and a vital part of its identity. Learn More »


The Modern Era: 1906 to present

In 1914, a new silent film premiered at the Royal Theatre a few blocks from the Alamo.  The Siege and Fall of the Alamo is the first feature film about the legendary battle of 1836. It is also the first and only such film shot at the Alamo. At a cost of $35,000 and with two thousand extras, the film was a hit. Learn More »