Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

San Antonio: Main and Military Plaza

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this historic district is the cultural and political epicenter of San Antonio. As one of the oldest permanently settled areas in the state, it also represents the evolution of Spanish-influenced architectural styles. Established in 1722 for Spanish soldiers, Military Plaza is anchored by the Spanish Governor's Palace, the last remnant of the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar. The Spanish Colonial structure served as the residence and office of the comandancia, or presidio captain. Visitors can see period furniture, tools, and accessories at the palace-turned-museum.

Notice the Italian Renaissance Revival architecture of City Hall as you make your way to the Main Plaza (also known as Plaza de Armas), with the restored Romanesque Revival style Bexar County Courthouse and the grand San Fernando Cathedral, one of the nation's oldest active cathedrals. Built in the early 1700s by settlers from the Canary Islands, the church was eventually incorporated as the sanctuary of the Gothic Revival cathedral, which was completed in 1868. Within its limestone walls is a marble tomb said to be the final resting place of William Travis and other Alamo defenders. 

A couple miles southwest is San Fernando Cemetery No. 1, the burial grounds for San Antonio’s Catholic population until 1922. Influential Tejanos interred there include José Antonio Navarro, Capt. José Antonio Manchaca, and José de Jesús Rodriguez. 

Watch the video below to learn more about Spanish Settlement of Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link:


  • Bounded by West Houston St., North, Santa Rosa Ave., West Nueva St., and North St. Mary’s St.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • 78205