The Battle of the Alamo was the turning point in the Texas Revolution. After a 13-day siege, Mexican troops attacked the Alamo Mission killing all the Texians that defended and fought in the battle of the Alamo. This brutal battle had led to many joining the Texian Army, and seeking revenge. The Texian Army defeated the Mexican troops ending the revolution and forever making history. The Mexican army conducted two attacks on the Alamo, driving the defenders indoors. Those that tried to escape were killed, those that surrendered were executed.
“Remember the Alamo”
The phrase “Remember the Alamo” is one that most U.S. citizens are familiar with. “Remember the Alamo” is an expression towards the bitterness in which the Mexican troops slaughtered the few defenders who wouldn’t go down without a fight at the battle of the Alamo. The phrase was used as a battle cry, and also to rally troops. General Sam Houston did this to his men two days before the massive revenge battle that ended the revolution occurred.
The Alamo Mission building
The Alamo Mission was originally built as a beautiful chapel in the 1700s. But after the collapse of the building, disease, and an ever-changing purpose, the name was changed to “Alamo” when some Calvary troops were stationed there for a decade starting in 1801. “Alamo” is the Spanish word for cottonwood. It is a type of tree that grew on a nearby ranch. It was also thought to be the reasoning behind the name.
The roof of the current Alamo Mission building has beautiful scalloping. It is probably the most famous feature that distinguishes the building and that people have come to recognize as the Alamo. Texans know it as the “Shrine of Liberty,” and on a fateful day in 1836, history of the state was changed forever.
The Alamo Today
The Alamo lies in San Antonio, Texas, and receives over four million people a year that come to see where Texas’ liberty began, and where the few hundred lost their lives defending the Alamo in their last stand. You can tour the chapel area, the Long Barracks, and one other complex building. The Long Barracks has a small museum within it and has displays of paintings, artifacts, and weapons, to learn about and view from the Texas Revolution.
The other complex building has some neater artifact displays, along with a massive diorama. The diorama shows what the compound looked like in 1836. The Wall of History is another visitor favorite. It illustrates the history of the Alamo Mission and its buildings from the 1800s to the present. There is a gift store to browse and pick up a souvenir from your trip to the Alamo as well. Buy a coonskin cap like Davy Crockett wore or get something representing the Alamo or Texas. The gift shop earnings supply the money used to maintain the Alamo and its buildings.
Tour the Alamo
Visitors can do a self-guided tour or partake in one of the guided tours. The Battlefield Tour is taught by history interpreters as they show and guide you on the events of the battle in 1836. See where Colonel Travis spent his last moments, and stand in the place where Davy Crockett fought heroically. You can see where the original fort lied, and learn in-depth details about the battle.
There is also an After Hours Tour, which allows you to see the Alamo without any crowds and in a different light. You will cover the Long Barracks and the Alamo Shrine. This tour is more personalized and much quieter without the noise of the daylight crowds. There are also audio tours, and it has sound, music, as well as some interviews. Simply rent and pick up your audio wand and adjust the volume control. The audio tour is about 45 minutes and will take you around to see all the sights at the Alamo. Attending a tour is a neat way to learn a lot and still have fun.
The Alamo Gardens
Serving as a beautiful memorial to the fallen of the Alamo Battle, gardens surrounding the Alamo Mission. As San Antonio grew, people decided it would be a good idea to acquire more land surrounding the Alamo Mission and complex to protect the area. They wanted to offer some green space and took the opportunity to turn it into a beautiful memorial. Walking paths as well as large green trees, tropical and native plants heavily overgrow the area, providing a calm and beautiful place to walk or sit, and to reflect. Admission to the gardens is free, so enjoy them as many others have.
The Alamo represents the final resting place for its defenders and the final push for Texas freedom. A small band of defenders held out for thirteen long days against the General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana and his troops. Their deaths have been the staple of freedom, and what they were willing to sacrifice to achieve it.
See and learn about Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett, and James Bowie as they stood held the Alamo along with others who refused to give up on the hope of freedom. You can still feel their memory today in the Alamo. General Sam Houston immortalized the phrase as he shouted: “Remember the Alamo” to rally his troops in the final battle in which Texas won its freedom. Admission is free, even though the price of liberty never is. Come and see the historic Alamo, and honor the memories of its last defenders.
What do you think about the intriguing history of the Alamo Mission? Have you already been there? Let us know and leave a comment.