San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas
City
City of San Antonio
From top to bottom and left to right: 1. San Antonio downtown from the Tower of The Americas at night. 2. The Riverwalk 3. The McNay Museum of Art 4. The Tower Life Building 5. Bexar County courthouse 6. San Antonio Public Library 7. The Tower of the Americas at night 8. The Alamo
From top to bottom and left to right: 1. San Antonio downtown from the Tower of The Americas at night. 2. The Riverwalk 3. The McNay Museum of Art 4. The Tower Life Building 5. Bexar County courthouse 6. San Antonio Public Library 7. The Tower of the Americas at night 8. The Alamo
Flag of San Antonio, Texas
Flag
Official seal of San Antonio, Texas
Seal
Coat of arms of San Antonio, Texas
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): San Antone, S.A., River City,
Alamo City, Military City USA, Countdown City
Motto: Libertatis cunabula (Latin, Cradle of liberty)
Location in Bexar County in the state of Texas
Location in Bexar County in the state of Texas
Map of Texas
Map of Texas
San Antonio
Map of Texas
Map of Texas
San Antonio
Location in Texas
Coordinates: 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29.417; -98.500
Country  United States
State   Texas
Counties Bexar, Medina, Comal
Foundation May 1, 1718 [2]
Incorporated June 5, 1837 [3]
Named for Saint Anthony of Padua
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Body San Antonio City Council
 •  Mayor Ron Nirenberg ( I)
 •  City Manager Sheryl Sculley
 •  City Council
Area
 •  City 465.4 sq mi (1,205.4 km2)
 • Land 460.93 [4] sq mi (1,193.7 km2)
 • Water 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
Elevation 650 ft (198 m)
Population (2017)
 •  City 1,492,510 [1]
 • Density 3,241.76/sq mi (1,238.2/km2)
 •  Metro 2,454,061 ( 24th)
 •  Demonym San Antonian
Time zone CST ( UTC−6)
 • Summer ( DST) CDT ( UTC−5)
Zip code 78201-66, 78268-70, 78275, 78278-80, 78283-89, 78291-99
Area code(s) 210 (majority), 830 (portions), 726 (planned)
Interstates I-10 (TX).svg I-35 (TX).svg I-37 (TX).svg I-410 (TX).svg
U.S. Routes US 87.svg US 90.svg US 181.svg US 281.svg
Website www.SanAntonio.gov

San Antonio ( / Spanish for " Saint Anthony"), officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populous city in the United States and the second most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States. [5] Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in Texas in 1731, making it the state's oldest municipality. [6] [7] The city's deep history is contrasted with its rapid growth: it was the fastest-growing of the top ten largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000. [8] [9] Straddling the regional divide between South and Central Texas, San Antonio anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion colloquially known as the " Texas Triangle".

San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Recent annexations [10] have extended the city's boundaries into Medina County and, for a tiny area near the city of Garden Ridge, into Comal County. [11] Since San Antonio was founded during the Spanish Colonial Era, it has a church (San Fernando Cathedral) in its center, located on the main civic plaza in front, a characteristic which is found in some other Spanish-founded cities, towns, and villages in Spain and Latin America. Due to its placement, the city is similar to other Western urban centers, in which areas outside the city limits are sparsely populated and have low density.

San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio– New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area has a population of 2,454,061 based on the 2017 US Census estimate, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.

San Antonio was named by a 1691 Spanish expedition for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13. The city contains five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, including The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which together were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. [12] Other notable attractions include the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, SeaWorld, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Morgan's Wonderland amusement parks. According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. The city is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. It hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.

The U.S. armed forces have numerous facilities in and around San Antonio: Fort Sam Houston is the only one within the city. Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis, and Camp Stanley are located outside the city limits. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining portions of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park and aerospace complex. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.

History

Lithograph of San Antonio in 1886

At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area. They called the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters". In 1691, a group of Spanish Catholic explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. They named the place and river "San Antonio" in his honor. [13]

It was years before any Spanish settlement took place. Father Antonio de Olivares visited the site in 1709, and he was determined to found a mission and civilian settlement there. The viceroy gave formal approval for a combined mission and presidio in late 1716, as he wanted to forestall any French expansion into the area from their colony of La Louisiane to the east, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed Martín de Alarcón, the governor of Coahuila and Texas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, and construction did not start until 1718. [14] Fray Antonio de Olivares built, with the help of the Payaya Indians, the Misión de San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, the bridge that connected both, and the Acequia Madre de Valero. [2]

The families who clustered around the presidio and mission formed the beginnings of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas. [15] On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later famous as the Alamo) to Fray Antonio de Olivares. [2] On May 5, 1718 he commissioned the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar ("Béjar" in modern Spanish orthography) on the west side of the San Antonio River, one-fourth league from the mission. [14]

On February 14, 1719, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo proposed to the king of Spain that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas. His plan was approved, and notice was given the Canary Islanders ( isleños) to furnish 200 families; the Council of the Indies suggested that 400 families should be sent from the Canaries to Texas by way of Havana and Veracruz. By June 1730, 25 families had reached Cuba, and 10 families had been sent to Veracruz before orders from Spain came to stop the re-settlement. [16]

Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, where they arrived on March 9, 1731. Due to marriages along the way, the party now included 15 families, a total of 56 persons. They joined the military community established in 1718. The immigrants formed the nucleus of the villa of San Fernando de Béxar, the first regularly organized civil government in Texas. Several older families of San Antonio trace their descent from the Canary Island colonists. María Rosa Padrón was the first baby born of Canary Islander descent in San Antonio. [16]

During the Spanish Mexican settlement of Southwestern lands, which took place over the following century, Juan Leal Goraz Jr. was a prominent figure. He claimed nearly 100,000 sq miles (153,766 acres) as Spanish territory and held some control for nearly three decades: this area stretched across six present-day states. San Antonio was designated as Leal Goraz's capital. It represented Mexican expansion into the area. With his robust military forces, he led exploration and establishing Spanish colonial bases as far as San Francisco, California. Widespread bankruptcy forced Leal Goraz Jr.'s army back into the current boundaries of Mexico; they fell into internal conflict and turmoil with neighboring entities.

Memorial to the Alamo defenders

San Antonio grew to become the largest Spanish settlement in Texas; it was designated as the capital of the Spanish, later Mexican, province of Tejas. From San Antonio, the Camino Real (today Nacogdoches Road), was built to the small frontier town of Nacogdoches. Mexico allowed European-American settlers from the United States into the territory; they mostly occupied land in the eastern part. When Antonio López de Santa Anna unilaterally abolished the Mexican Constitution of 1824, violence ensued in many states of Mexico. [17]

In a series of battles, the Texian Army succeeded in forcing Mexican soldiers out of the settlement areas east of San Antonio, which were dominated by Americans. Under the leadership of Ben Milam, in the Battle of Bexar, December 1835, Texian forces captured San Antonio from forces commanded by General Martin Perfecto de Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-law. In the spring of 1836, Santa Anna marched on San Antonio. A volunteer force under the command of James C. Neill occupied and fortified the deserted mission. [18]

Upon his departure, the joint command of William Barrett Travis and James Bowie were left in charge of defending the old mission. The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23 to March 6, 1836. The outnumbered Texian force was ultimately defeated, with all of the Alamo defenders killed. These men were seen as "martyrs" for the cause of Texas freedom and "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry in the Texian Army's eventual success at defeating Santa Anna's army. [18]

Juan Seguín, who organized the company of Tejano patriots, who fought for Texas independence, fought at the Battle of Concepción, Siege of Bexar, and the Battle of San Jacinto, and served as mayor of San Antonio. He was forced out of that office, due to threats on his life, by sectarian newcomers and political opponents in 1842, becoming the last Tejano mayor for nearly 150 years. [19]

An aerial view of San Antonio in 1939

In 1845, the United States finally decided to annex Texas and include it as a state in the Union. This led to the Mexican–American War. Though the US ultimately won, the war was devastating to San Antonio. By its end, the population of the city had been reduced by almost two-thirds, to 800 inhabitants. [20] Bolstered by migrants and immigrants, by 1860 at the start of the Civil War, San Antonio had grown to a city of 15,000 people.

Post-Civil War to present

Following the Civil War, San Antonio prospered as a center of the cattle industry. During this period, it remained a frontier city, with a mixture of cultures that was different from other US cities. In the 1850s Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York City, traveled throughout the South and Southwest, and published accounts of his observations. In his 1859 book about Texas, Olmsted described San Antonio as having a "jumble of races, costumes, languages, and buildings", which gave it a quality that only New Orleans could rival in what he described as "odd and antiquated foreignness." [21] [22]

In 1877, following the Reconstruction Era, developers constructed the first railroad to San Antonio, connecting it to major markets and port cities. Texas was the first state to have major cities develop by railroads rather than waterways. In Texas, the railroads supported a markedly different pattern of development of major interior cities, such as San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, compared to the historical development of coastal port cities in the established eastern states.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the streets of the city's downtown were widened to accommodate street cars and modern traffic. At that time, many of the older historic buildings were demolished in the process of this modernization. [23]

Since the late twentieth century, San Antonio has had steady population growth. The city's population has nearly doubled in 35 years, from just over 650,000 in the 1970 census to an estimated 1.2 million in 2005, through both population growth and land annexation (the latter has considerably enlarged the physical area of the city). [24] In 1990, the United States Census Bureau reported San Antonio's population as 55.6% Hispanic, 7% black, and 36.2% non-Hispanic white. [25]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: San Antonio
العربية: سان أنطونيو
azərbaycanca: San-Antonio
تۆرکجه: سن‌آنتونیو
Bân-lâm-gú: San Antonio
беларуская: Сан-Антоніа
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сан-Антоніё
български: Сан Антонио
bosanski: San Antonio
čeština: San Antonio
Deutsch: San Antonio
Ελληνικά: Σαν Αντόνιο
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Sant Antóni
føroyskt: San Antonio
français: San Antonio
Gĩkũyũ: San Antonio
한국어: 샌안토니오
Հայերեն: Սան Անտոնիո
Bahasa Indonesia: San Antonio, Texas
interlingua: San Antonio (Texas)
íslenska: San Antonio
italiano: San Antonio
Kapampangan: San Antonio, Texas
ქართული: სან-ანტონიო
қазақша: Сан-Антонио
Kreyòl ayisyen: San Antonio (Teksas)
кырык мары: Сан-Антонио
Latina: Antoniopolis
latviešu: Sanantonio
lietuvių: San Antonijus
lingála: San Antonio
македонски: Сан Антонио
Malagasy: San Antonio
მარგალური: სან-ანტონიო
Bahasa Melayu: San Antonio
нохчийн: Сан-Антонио
norsk nynorsk: San Antonio
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: San Antonio
پنجابی: سان انٹونیو
Piemontèis: San Antonio
português: San Antonio
română: San Antonio
русский: Сан-Антонио
Seeltersk: San Antonio
Simple English: San Antonio
slovenčina: San Antonio (Texas)
slovenščina: San Antonio, Teksas
српски / srpski: Сан Антонио
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: San Antonio, Texas
svenska: San Antonio
Türkçe: San Antonio
українська: Сан-Антоніо
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: San Antonio
Tiếng Việt: San Antonio
ייִדיש: סאן אנטאניא
Yorùbá: San Antonio