Although tourists probably think of the Alamo as the centerpiece of downtown San Antonio, historians consider the heart of the city this handsome Spanish cathedral, portions of it dating back to 1738–1759 when it was first built by Canary Island settlers. Overlooking the town’s historic Main Plaza, San Fernando Cathedral was completed in 1749, and the original parts of the structure make it the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the United States and the oldest parish church in Texas. Between 1840 and 1873, the church fell into disrepair until it was rebuilt and consecrated in October 1873. Alamo defender James “Jim” Bowie married his wife, Ursula, at the cathedral in 1831, before he was killed during the 1836 siege of the Alamo. The cathedral has undergone major renovations over the centuries, including the addition of a 24-foot-high gilded altarpiece or retablo. It’s the mother church of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the seat of its archbishop, and a very active parish, with weekend Masses, weddings, and funerals, as well as concerts and other special events, held regularly. Note: Four nights a week, the spectacular San Antonio—The Saga, a video collage by French artist Xavier de Richemont, is projected on the church facade.
San Antonio› Attraction
San Fernando Cathedral
115 Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown Hours Mon–Thurs 9am–8pm; Fri 9am–5pm; Sat–Sun 9am–6:30pm. Free shows Tues and Fri–Sun at 9, 9:30, and 10pm. Transportation
Bus: 9, 10, 43Phone 210/227-1297 Prices Free admission Web site San Fernando Cathedral
Map115 Main Plaza San Antonio TX 78205 San Antonio
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.