Explore San Antonio

6 Fun San Antonio Facts

Think you know everything about Alamo City? Think again.

You already know some things about San Antonio, like where to get a great margarita or taco, or what to do on the River Walk. But did you know these facts?

San Fernando Cathedral
"The Saga" at San Fernando Cathedral (Courtesy Main Plaza)

San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest church in Texas, and one of the oldest cathedrals in the entire United States. Built in the 1700s, the cathedral played a role in the Battle of the Alamo (Santa Anna hoisted the flag that began the siege from San Fernando's tower) and is the final resting place (supposedly) of David Crockett, Jim Bowie and William B. Travis.

Three times a night, four times a week for the next decade, San Fernando's facade becomes the canvas for Xavier de Richemont's massive multimedia show "San Antonio: The Saga." The million-dollar installation narrates the city's discovery, settlement and development with choreographed light and music.

San Antonio Missions
Mission San Juan Capistrano (©Mark Greenberg)

All five of the Missions are up for confirmation of UNESCO World Heritage status. This means that the Missions will be globally protected and preserved, joining the Egyptian pyramids, Great Barrier Reef and the State of Liberty.

They would be the first World Heritage site in the state of Texas, and only the 22nd designation in the U.S.

San Antonio River
The San Antonio River (©SACVB)

San Antonio was given its name on June 13, 1691, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. It was also the day that a Spanish expedition came to the river they called Rio San Antonio.

San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk (©SACVB)

In the original plans presented in 1929, River Walk architect Robert H. Hugman wanted to name the San Antonio attraction "The Shops of Romula and Aragon." Catchy, huh?

The Torch of Friendship and Tower of the Americas
The Torch of Friendship and Tower of the Americas (©SACVB)

HemisFair '68, "The Confluence of Civilization in the Americas" World's Fair that was held in San Antonio, coincided with the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio in 1718.

The Cavalier's Float at Fiesta
The Cavalier's Float at Fiesta (©SACVB)

Two accessories are very important to Fiesta, one of the nation's oldest celebrations (it began in 1891, and runs in 2015 from April 16 to 26). Cascarones are hollow-out, decorated eggshells filled with confetti, and to have one cracked over your head is considered good luck. About 35 volunteers from the Conservation Society work year-round to make more than 120,000 cascarones to sell during Fiesta.

See someone weighed down with medals? Compliment them! Collecting and wearing Fiesta medals is a point of pride for San Antonions.