Thursday, June 4, 2009
San Antonio, Texas - Part Two
The beautiful San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio is one the most beloved structures in Texas.
The cornerstone for the magnificent building was laid in 1738 and the dome of the original church was the point from which all distances were measured during the Spanish occupation of Texas. In 1836, when the church was nearly 100 years old, it played a critical role in the Battle of the Alamo. Mexican commander General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna raised a blood red flag from the original church tower to warn the defenders of the Alamo that they could expect no quarter.
After the battle, the remains of the Alamo defenders were gathered from the ashes of Santa Anna's funeral pyres and buried in the church. They were discovered in 1936 and are now housed in a marble casket on display at San Fernando.
The church was greatly enlarged during the late 19th century, but some of the original walls are still intact. It became a cathedral in 1874. Pope John Paul II visited San Fernando Cathedral in 1987.
To learn more about this beautiful old San Antonio landmark, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/sanfernando.