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San Antonio City Guide

San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas (after Houston) and the seat of Bexar County. Situated on the San Antonio River, this progressive city has managed to achieve a cosmopolitan air, even while retaining its sense of tradition and history. The result is a mingling of Southern, Tejano, German, and Wild West cultures. The city has a military tradition that extends back to 1718, when Don Martin de Alarcon constructed a military fort to protect the fledgling settlement. Today, San Antonio is home to several military installations, including Fort Sam Houston, Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases, and Brooks City-Base.

The city actually began as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, founded in 1718 by Friar Antonio de San Buenaventura Olivares and named for Saint Anthony of Padua. The original purpose of the mission was to convert the native peoples living in Texas. However, the constant attacks from the Comanche and Apache led to a withdrawal of the clergy in 1794. The Spanish cavalry arrived from Mexico to occupy the mission in 1803, changing its name to Mission del Alamo del Parras.

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