What a beautiful place! The Alamo was not a fort. It was originally built in 1724 as a mission established to convert the local Indians. At some point the Spanish government took over the mission and gave the surrounding land to the local Indians. This helped establish what is now San Antonio. In the early 800's, the Spanish military stationed troops at the old mission, now called The Alamo by the troops. Alamo is Spanish for "cottonwood". What is now called the Long Barrack was made into the 1st hospital in Texas by the Spanish Command.
Do you know anything about the Alamo other than the movies? Me, neither. Well, in 1835, during the Texas Revolution, the Texas Revolutionaries fought the Spanish troops and won control of the Alamo and San Antonio. Early 1836, Santa Anna arrived unexpectedly and the battle/siege was on. The Revolutionaries included the men of legend - Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, etc. (Davy Crockett had lost his seat in Congress. He is reputed to have said to his Tennessee constituents, "You all can go to hell. I'm going to Texas.") After numerous requests for reinforcements to Sam Houston and other Texans, a group of about 200 held off the Spanish for 13 days. March 6, 1836 Santa Anna's troops launched their final assault. Finally able to scale the walls, the troops entered the courtyard and attacked the church for the final battle with the surviving Texans. Thus, the Alamo secured its place in US history and folklore!
Some surprises... the Alamo is not out in an open area. It is smack daub in the center of San Antonio. I always pictured the Alamo as being just the Church. It was a large area, completely walled, housing the church, convent, outbuildings, etc. Just a small section of the wall now survives. I also did not expect to find such pretty gardens. It is really pretty. We ended our visit by lunching down on River Walk. What a fabulous place!! Just loaded with charm!! We will definitely be back to San Antonio!