Texas Heritage, Summer 2001 Page: 23
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the Texas Revolution. The structures in
that complex are the only surviving
examples of a Spanish Colonial mission/presidio
in Texas; in fact, few exist
anywhere in the entire North American
The Goliad State Historical Site
(Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)
administers four historic sites in the
vicinity of Goliad: Mission Espiritu
Santo de Zuniga, Mission Rosario,
Zaragoza's Birthplace, and the Fannin
Mission Espiritu Santo was originally
used by Franciscan priests who worked to
convert the area's Native Americans into
Spanish citizens. The mission fell into
disrepair and was restored by the Civilian
Conservation Corps in the 1930s. In the
1970s, the chapel and workshop buildings
were refurbished to approximate
their appearance in the 1700s, and a
museum was established in the old granary
In the early 1750s Franciscan priests
stationed at Mission Espiritu Santo
began efforts to establish a second nearby
mission. Mission Rosario was intended
for Karankawa Indians living in the area.
Rosario remained in use until approximately
1807, at which time the Native
Americans living there were transferred.
The unrestored ruins of Mission Rosario
are now the subject of ongoing archeological
research, and special arrangements
are required to visit the site.
Zaragoza's Birthplace celebrates the life
of General Ignacio Zaragoza, hero of the
May 5, 1862, Battle of Puebla. This battle,
in which an outnumbered Mexican
army defeated invading French forces,
has been celebrated ever since as Cinco
The Fannin Battleground marks the
1836 site where Colonel James W.
Fannin and his troops were captured after
a heated battle with Mexican forces. A
week later, Santa Anna ordered the execution
of the 342 surviving prisoners, an
event now remembered as The Goliad
Presidio La Bahia (361) 645-3752;
Goliad State Historical Site (361) 645-3405
Though it has grown to become one of
the 10 largest cities in the country, San
Antonio began as a small settlement near
the Franciscan missions that were built
in the 18th century to bring Christianity
to the Native Americans. Long a source
of local pride, the missions have now
been preserved so that everyone can
Programs emphasize the history and
significance of the four missions and
other features found within the park:
Missions Concepci6n, San Jose, San
Juan, Espada, the historic Espada Dam
and Aqueduct, the remaining acequias
(irrigation ditches), and Rancho de las
Cabras. The architecture of these Texas
missions is closely tied to that of Spain,
though a variety of features were incorporated
including Moorish designs,
Renaissance details, Romanesque forms,
and Gothic arches.
In addition to the beautiful mission
buildings, visitors can see more than
30,000 objects that are on display. This is
a working collection comprised of artifacts,
mainly sherds and fragments of
metal, stone, bone, ceramic, and glass
retrieved during archeological excavation.
There are three museum exhibit
areas that display items from the park's
collection, objects on loan from various
museums, and replicas. The majority of
items in the collection are Hispanic with
origins in Mexico and in South Texas,
dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
6701 San Jose Dr., (210) 534-8833;
www. nps. gov/saan
From left to right: Missions
Espiritu Santo de Zuniga,
Concepci6n, and San Jose.
HERITAGE E SUMMER 2001
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Summer 2001, periodical, Summer 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45385/m1/23/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.