San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

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Promotion: Nearby Map of Bexar County

San Antonio, located at the head of the San Antonio River in Bexar County in south central Texas, is on Interstate Highway 10 (east-west) and Interstate highways 35 and 37 (north-south). The city is also served by five U.S. highways, numerous state highways as well as Interstate (Loop) 410 and State Loop 1604, San Antonio International Airport, Stinson Airport, Union Pacific Railroad, and daily AMTRAK train service. San Antonio, also known by such titles as the Alamo City, the Mission City, the River City, and Military City, U.S.A. (which the city trademarked in 2017), has a 300-year history that stretches back to Spanish Texas with the establishment of a presidio, town, and five Franciscan missions along the San Antonio River. The city’s strategic role in two separate struggles for independence—the fight for Mexican independence in 1811–13 and for Texas independence in 1835–36—resulted in bloody conflict but also eventually entrenched San Antonio’s standing as a state and national symbol of the battle for self-government. During the second half of the nineteenth century, San Antonio, as the largest city in Texas, supported a diverse native and immigrant population and further perpetuated its reputation as a crossroads of cultures. The city prospered as a center of agricultural and ranching activities, and its growing industry, advances in transportation, establishment of educational institutions, and strong connection to the military carried it firmly into the twentieth century and the post-World War II era. In recent decades San Antonio has become a top tourist destination.

Spanish expeditions explored the area in 1691 and 1709. In 1691 the expedition of Domingo Terán de los Ríos traveled through the region en route to East Texas and named the San Antonio River on June 13, the Feast Day of Portuguese Franciscan friar Saint Anthony of Padua. They also encountered an Indian area of settlement (which the Spaniards interpreted to have the name Yanaguana). The year 1691 has also been recognized as the beginning of a route, or more accurately a network of trails (caminos reales), that came to be known as the San Antonio-Nacogdoches Road (see OLD SAN ANTONIO ROAD). With stretches most likely developed from existing Indian trails, the road developed into a main artery for commerce and immigration. The Espinosa-Olivares-Aguirre expedition in 1709 explored the future site of San Antonio and named the San Pedro Springs. Fray Isidro Félix de Espinosa reported on the abundance of water that “could supply not only a village but a city which could easily be founded here….” Indeed, a “city” later grew out of the San Antonio mission and presidio (1718) and San Fernando de Béxar villa (1731).

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Laurie E. Jasinski | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: Monica L Rollins
Adoption Message: In honor of living in San Antonio from 1984-1986
Until: June 8th, 2025

Adopted by: Tommie Turner
Adoption Message: In honor my loving grandfather of Thomas E Turner III
Until: December 25th, 2027

Belongs to

San Antonio is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

San Antonio is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Bexar 1)
  • (San Fernando de Bexar)

Location

Latitude: 29.45890210
Longitude: -98.52199200

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

Population Count, 2021 View more »

1,451,853

Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes

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