You may think you've been magically transported to Mexico, Spain, or France when you enter this stately Gothic Revival cathedral. Rising from a quiet plaza in the center of downtown San Antonio, the cathedral rests on the site of the earliest marked graves in San Antonio and is part of the oldest continuously functioning religious community in the state. The building's sanctuary is also the oldest church building still standing in Texas. Founded by Canary Island settlers in 1738, the original three walls of the church still stand at the back of the 1868 cathedral. Part of a still-active parish that regularly offers mass, the cathedral should be entered in silence. Each Sunday, a music-filled "El Mariachi Mass" is held, offering visitors of all faiths a culturally enriching experience featuring Mexican-style mariachi bands and their guitar and trumpet-filled music. Before leaving the cathedral, be sure to note the marble crypt set off to the south side of the narthex: An inscription on the wall alleges that it holds remains of Alamo defenders William Travis, Davy Crockett, and Jim Bowie, along with other heroes of the Texas Revolution. However, most historians dispute this claim, maintaining the bodies of those men and all other Alamo defenders were piled in large pyres and wholly consumed by fire. Remains of other prominent Texans are really buried within the cathedral's ancient limestone walls—a fact that is not disputed. Plan on spending about 5–10 minutes here.
San Antonio› Attraction
San Fernando Cathedral
115 Main Plaza
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown/Central/Main Plaza Hours Tues–Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am–6:30pm, Sun 8:30am–5pm Transportation Streetcar: Yellow and Blue lines to Main Plaza and W. Market St. Phone 210/227-1297 Prices Free admission Web site San Fernando Cathedral
Map115 Main Plaza San Antonio
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