Monday, April 6, 2009

The Alamo

You can’t go to San Antonio without visiting The Alamo. It is even listed in the “Attractions” section of my GPS so we set it and off we went. It is 8.1 miles from the RV park and we were there in about ten minutes. I was surprised to find the monument in the centre of town, I expected it to be out in the country. I guess San Antonio was not as big a city in 1836.

Entry to the monument is free due to a law passed many years ago to ensure Texans or “Texians” as they were called before Statehood, can visit the symbolic birthplace of their independence from Mexico without financial impediment. This law obviously does not deter the many souvenir hawkers from plying their trade inside the walls where everything from tacky “Alamo” earrings to children's “Cowboy and Indian” games that have nothing to do with the story of The Alamo can be purchased for inflated prices. John Wayne’s movie “The Alamo” is in perpetual showing in a theatre across the street.

It was here that for thirteen days ending March 6, 1836 that two hundred “Texians”, including frontiersmen David Crockett and Jim Bowie, held off Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and an unknown number of (but at least 1000) Mexican soldiers sent to defend what was still part of Mexico against the “Texian” Revolutionaries. The battle ended in the pre-dawn hours of March 6, 1836 when the Mexican army stormed the defences and overwhelmed the defenders. After the penetration of the walls the actual fight lasted only about forty five minutes and was over by sunrise when the Mexican flag once again flew over the Mission (as depicted in the sketch from the time below).





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