The U.N.’s cultural body approved the status of the San Antonio Missions as a world heritage site Sunday. This historic site, important to world history, now joins a list of more than 1,000 such sites around the world – including 22 others in the United States – putting Texas on an elite list governed by the United Nation’s cultural branch.
The site includes five mission complexes. They can be found along the San Antonio River basin. The missions, the most famous of which is the Alamo, were built by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century.
According to the United Nation’s cultural body the San Antonio Missions “illustrate the Spanish Crown’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain. The San Antonio Missions are also an example of the interweaving of Spanish and Coahuiltecan cultures, illustrated by a variety of features, including the decorative elements of churches, which combine Catholic symbols with indigenous designs inspired by nature.”
To be nominated for heritage status, sites must meet a set of criteria agreed upon by member states of the U.N. cultural body and must include a long-term management plan. Heritage status comes not only with world-wide notoriety, but also access for financial assistance towards preservation.
Add the San Antonio Missions to your travel bucket list!