In 1718, at a Native American village along the southern edge of the Texas Hill Country, Spain established the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later called the Alamo). A customary accompanying presidio, San Antonio de Bexar (Bay-her), protected mission endeavors. Today's city and county names are derived from those 18th-century Spanish beginnings.

The five missions (Mission San Antonio de Valero, Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada) represent the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America and have been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


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