Just a few minutes northeast of San Antonio lies a geological wonder that attracts tourists from around the globe. Natural Bridge Caverns, designated both a U.S. Natural Landmark as well as a Texas Historic Site, contains some of the most phenomenal cave formations in the country. Giant stalactites resembling enormous chandeliers and stalagmites that look like fried eggs are just a few of the more than 10,000 formations contained within this living cave. Special rates are available for groups of 25 or more.
Although construction did not begin until 1749, this cathedral was established in 1731 by the Canary/Spanish Islanders, who sought to build their own place of worship. It is one of the oldest cathedral sanctuaries in the United States. The famous Alamo defender James Bowie was married here and during the siege of the Alamo Santa Anna used it as an observation post. Notable historic figures Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett are buried here. The cathedral still draws huge crowds for Mass and always welcomes visitors.
Sandwiched between Mission San Jose and Hot Wells locales in the heart of San Antonio's expansive wildernesses, this historical park was designated as a settlement for Catholic priests who were sent here as Spanish missionaries to spread the word of the holy bible among the natives. The park is spread over 948 acres (384 hectares) of blissful lawns that house the Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada; the four historical missions which constitute what is known as the Mission Trail, all possessing very distinct and beautiful detailing in their designs and constructions. The Espada Aqueduct, Rancho de las Cabras, and the Ethel Wilson Harris House are some of the park's other notable attractions.
Originally the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo is by far the most famous historical site in Texas, playing a significant role in Texas' quest for independence from Mexico. Under the command of Col. William Travis, 189 Texan soldiers bravely defended this fort for 13 days before finally succumbing to Santa Anna's massive Mexican army in early 1836. The chapel and the Long Barrack are all that remains of the fort. Saved from civilian apathy by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the mission is now a museum containing relics from the era. Narrated tours are available.
This mission, located at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, was founded in 1720 by Father Antonio Margil de Jesús. It was the largest mission and the main center for cultural and social activities. Hence it was labeled as the ‘Queen of Missions'. A large part of the church was destroyed over the years. The existing Rose Window is one of the finer pieces of architecture belonging to the Spanish colonial era. Some of the few remnants include the arches that once gave shelter to the missionaries, the Convento area and a part of the irrigation ditch, which is visible outside the compound. The church still functions and visitors are permitted to attend the Sunday mass.
What a sight to behold - glass-walled elevators ascend more than 500 feet (152.4 meters) to the observation deck, providing panoramic views of the city. Standing a total of 750 feet (228.6 meters) tall, the tower was constructed for HemisFair, the 1968 World's Fair and symbolizes the progress made by the people of the Western Hemisphere. Soaring as if calling out to the skies, this imposing tower watches over San Antonio's dynamic cityscape. The tower greatly frames the contemporary tenor of downtown San Antonio and is crowned by an observation deck and a revolving restaurant. A stunning embodiment of architectural magnificence, the Tower of the Americas is an indelible present-day landmark of the country.
Located in southern San Antonio and by the San Antonio River, the Mission Historic District overs a glimpse into San Antonio's past. This charming small district includes several historical points, including the Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission San Francisco de la Espada.
The St Joseph Catholic Church is located in the Downtown San Antonio. Built in the 19th century, the church was preceded by another site of faith. This Roman Catholic Church is an active institute of faith. The church is built in the Gothic Revival style of architecture and is a spectacle of grandeur. An erstwhile religious site for German immigrants, it currently serves a diverse community of worshipers. The regular services are conducted in English, accompanied by mariachi music and occasional singing performance by the San Antonio Liederkranz. Check the website for information on mass timings and services.
The Laurel Heights United Methodist Church is located in the Monte Vista district and is the religious center of the faithful that belongs to the Methodist church. The church has daily prayer services, weekly fellowships, and also frequently breaks bread together at the church. This church is a boon to the residents of the city and a great place to spend some time in prayer.
Nestled within the La Villita Historic Arts Village, the Mayor Maury Maverick Plaza is dedicated to the city's celebrated former mayor. The plaza features his statue at the center and large open space surrounding it which is used as a venue for large scale festivals and events. This includes the fantastic annual Maverick Music Festival which sees a crowd of more than 2000 music lovers gather here to watch the performances of the local and national artists/ bands.
Mission Marquee Plaza is a famous plaza building, which has served as a key landmark and cultural center in San Antonio, Texas, ever since it was first built at Roosevelt Avenue. After undergoing several renovations and refurbishment works, the ownership of this iconic building was transferred to the city council of San Antonia in 2007. Today, the building serves as the cultural epicenter in the city with several popular film festivals, musical concerts, art exhibitions and other cultural events being held at this venue. The plaza also features a beautiful mural recreation project, which was taken up and finished by the Department of Arts & Culture in 2013.