A Story Bigger Than Texas

300 Years in the making, the epic story of the Alamo is renowned all over the world!

Show Timeline

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, Spanish missionary Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares worked to convert many of the Coahuiltecan bands to Catholicism. 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. The mission that we know today as the Alamo was born as Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718.

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. Though it started as a mission, San Antonio de Valero was now secularized, and the Spanish military occupied the old mission compound and converted it into a frontier outpost and military garrison.

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, named for their hometown Alamo de Parras south of the Rio Grande, shifted their allegiance to the newly formed independent nation of Mexico.

Texas Revolution: 1835-1836

San Antonio de Béxar was now key military point, a crossroads and center of commerce in colonial Texas. With the outbreak of revolt in Coahuila y Tejas, San Antonio resumed its old role as Texas' capital. The Alamo, now a fortress under the command of 26-year-old William Barret Travis, came under siege by dictator Santa Anna. He ordered the pre-dawn attack on March 6, 1836 in which 186 Texians, Tejanos, Americans and Europeans sacrificed themselves to stop a tyrant.

Under The Republic: 1837-1845

Texas won its independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. But the fighting did not end there. Mexico refused to give up its claim to Texas as well as the additional territory claimed by the new Republic, and launched military attacks on Texas several times in the ensuing years. The Alamo remained a vital military garrison protecting San Antonio and supplying border forts from Mexican incursion and Indian attacks.

The Army Moves In: 1846-1877

Texas joined the United States on December 29, 1845. 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. The Alamo became a U.S. Army outpost and depot. It was during this period that the Army added the Alamo's famous bell-shaped top.

Warehouse to Shrine: 1878 -1905

The U.S. Army departed the Alamo and established Fort Sam Houston to replace it in 1876. 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. The Alamo was even used as a commercial warehouse until the State of Texas purchased it in the 1880s.

The Modern Era: 1906 to present

The Alamo today stands at the heart of San Antonio and the heart of what it means to be a Texan. It is managed by the Texas General Land Office on behalf of the people of Texas. People visit from all over the world to see and learn about the mission and fort's vital role in defending freedom. Battlefield tours, living history, a one-of-a-kind movie, summer camps, unique exhibits and more are available year-round on the Alamo grounds.

Learn More

Visit The Alamo

A historic destination for the entire family.


Events At The Alamo

Exciting events and activities!


Unique Gifts

Alamo gifts with a Texas flair.


Phil Collins Collection

One of the largest collections of Alamo Artifacts.


Upcoming Events