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“Remember the Alamo!” Or, so the phrase goes….I’ll remember the Alamo…somewhere to go if you have about 20 minutes to waste while visiting San Antonio, Texas.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went to see the Alamo, at least so I can say I’ve been there, but I was a bit underwhelmed. It really didn’t take long to visit and they were doing a lot of construction (re-furb) to the main building, so many areas were off limits. Even without the construction it wouldn’t have taken long.
Situated right in downtown San Antonio, the Alamo commemorates the 1836 battle between Colonel Travis and General Santa Anna where all Texans fighting for their independence were killed by the Mexican army. Just to clarify, many women and children survived the battle, but those Texans “under arms” were all killed.
The Alamo was originally a mission that served as home to missionaries and Indian converts for seventy years. Once occupied by military forces, the Alamo changed hands, regularly.
Today, you can visit the Alamo chapel (pictured above), the Alamo Visitors Center (be careful with this one. The sign outside says Alamo Museum and as you enter, you see that it’s really the gift shop with a few historical displays), and the Long Barracks (home of the first registered hospital in Texas).
Coming from a very historical area (St. Augustine, Florida — America’s oldest city — is just down the road from me), I’m familiar with historical sites and how they can be a bit underwhelming. I had just built up the Alamo to be a bigger, more impressive historical site in my head. I expected more to do and did not realize it was right in the heart of the city.
I happened to visit on the birthday of the US Marine Corps. and the Marines were having a ceremony on the grounds of the Alamo. They were celebrating the Marine Corps. birthday in the traditional way — having the youngest and the oldest Marine present cut the birthday cake and take the first bites. Additionally, a Marine retired; having his retirement ceremony on the grounds of the Alamo. Seems like an awesome way to retire.
To answer the question most often received from friends during my visit, no, I did not ask to or see the basement at the Alamo. Bunch of jokers. However, I’ve since learned (from an Alamo employee) that the Alamo does indeed have 4 basements. Mostly for storage and employee use, but basements nonetheless.
Have you been to the Alamo? What are your thoughts? Share your own review in the comments, below.