San Antonio Missions & Alamo World Heritage Site
San Antonio, TX — On July 5th San Antonio’s Spanish colonial missions were designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Confirmed at the 39th annual session of the World Heritage Convention in Bonn, Germany. The city’s missions joined the global ranks of other such sites like the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and Gizeh Pyramid of Egypt.
This prestigious designation is a first in the state of Texas, and only one of 23 such sites. Other United States Heritage Sites include the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park, Independence Hall and the Grand Canyon to name a few. To see the full list of World Heritage Sites found in the United States, click here.
County Judge Nelson Wolff commented saying, “The San Antonio Missions are now the first World Heritage Site in the state and the 23rd in the nation. This community is known for protecting its heritage and I have no doubt we will continue sharing our heritage with the world.” Additionally Wolff as well as Mayor Ivy Taylor expressed their gratitude for this honor.
According to a description from the Missions of San Antonio website, four of the five missions are located on the south side of the city. The completion of the San Antonio River Walk Mission Reach in 2013 provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, nature watching and more. Recent commercial and residential developments have attracted much attention to the area, which continues to experience revitalization in new and interesting ways. Landmark restaurants, unique shopping finds, resident and visitor friendly events and festivals, such as Mission Drive-In’s summer movie events, music events and farmers market are popular in the area. Additionally, recreation areas and attractions such as Hangar 9 (Brooks City Base), Riverside Golf Course and Alamo Helicopter Tours, make up part of a rich and celebrated community in San Antonio.
The designation includes the five 18th century Spanish Colonial Missions (to include the Alamo) and their complexes which include two acequia systems, labores (farm fields) and Rancho de las Cabras around Mission Espada.
Further outlined in this article is the positive impact that the honor of being a World Heritage Site brings. The least of which means increased tourism and city improvements. Mayor Ivy Taylor’s Speech during the World Heritage nomination in Bonn, Germany can be viewed here courtesy of the Rivard Report.
Although there are some opposed to this designation, the general opinion seems to be one of hope, gratitude and excitement. We will be keeping watch for all the wonderful events that could unfold in light of this prestigious honor.