Alamo Mission, Texas (USA)
In downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA, sits a massive, fortified white building, the Alamo Mission, whose thick walls preserve the memory of the heroism of a handful of men who died for Texas independence.
The mission was established in 1718 to educate Native Americans who converted to Christianity. Construction began in 1724. Since the mission had many adherents, the complex provided a building for the priests, separate quarters for the Indians, and even had a cloth weaving shop.
Especially beautiful was the chapel, the third floor of which was never built.The mission flourished at first, but gradually declined, leading to its closure, and the buildings were occupied by indigenous people. In 1803, a Spanish cavalry unit took over the mission and named it "Alamo", after the town where the soldiers came from - Alamo de Paras, Coahuila state. Furthermore, in Spanish "alamo" means cotton tree. In the decades that followed, Mexican military factions settled in the mission. It gained notoriety with the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.
In December 1835, after a five-day skirmish, the Texans captured the mission. But the Mexicans returned with an army of 6,000 in February 1836 under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana and made a surprise attack on the Alamo. The defenders of the mission numbered about 200, including frontiersmen William Travis, David Crockett, and Jim Bown. The battle lasted 13 days. The defenders of the mission were slaughtered to a man, but their courage inspired the remaining Texans, who joined forces and in just two months defeated the Mexicans and Texas gained its independence. But the old mission was abandoned and gradually disintegrated. In 1905, the Alamo complex was purchased by the State of Texas and assigned to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas organization to preserve at least a small piece of the state's history. The façade of the main building is well preserved with the four beautiful columns on the front door, and a modest plaque calls on the citizens of the state to remember the men who died for Texas independence. And a nuclear supersonic munitions, the Davy, is named after one of the heroes of the Alamo, David Crockett.