Texas has a lot of great history and as we continue our series "Oldest in Texas", you will learn that much of our state's history, is also a rich part of history for other nations and the United States.

The history of the oldest church in Texas is fascinating and it is also connected to history that many Texans learn about in school, and it all started when the King of Spain invited 16 families to Texas.

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio is the oldest church in Texas and it is also one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States. According to website for the cathedral, San Fernando was founded in 1731. The church was meant to be the center of the city and it many ways, it is still seen that way today.

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According to MySanAntonio.com, San Fernando Cathedral's cornerstone was put into place about five years before the Alamo's stone mission church. Construction took 15 years to complete.

San Fernando Cathedral's Connection to the Alamo

The cathedral's connection to the Alamo is an interesting one and even one that is controversial.

According to the Texas State Historical Society, James Bowie married his wife Ursula de Veramendi at San Fernando Cathedral. During the siege of Bexar, Mexican cannons were placed on the cathedral's roof. And Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna used the church not only as a lookout but also ordered a red flag be flown from the church. The flag meant there would be "no mercy" shown to the Texans at the Alamo.

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But that's not all when it comes to the cathedral's connection to the Alamo. In 1889, Juan N. Seguin claimed that the heroes of the Alamo are buried at the church. Even though the Texas State Historical Society doubts this claim, human remains were found in 1936 and exposed to public view for a year. The remains were placed in a tomb. According to a marker, the remains of Travis, Crockett, Bowie and Other Alamo Heroes and intombed at the cathedral.

The Pope Visits

Pope John Paul II visited San Antonio and San Fernando on September 13, 1987.

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The cathedral is very active. Over 5,000 participate at weekend Masses. Over 900 baptisms, 100 weddings, 100 funerals, and many other services are performed there each year. Visitors are welcome.

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So the next time you are in San Antonio, stop by the San Fernando Cathedral and soak in its rich history and connection to Texas and the United States.

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