Mission San Juan. Photo by Scott Ball.

World Heritage Weekend: Celebrating San Antonio History and Preservation

For the many dedicated and often unsung people in San Antonio who labored over the years to preserve the San Antonio Missions and the Alamo and win them recognition as the first urban World Heritage site west of the Mississippi River, July 5 was a special day when UNESCO members in Bonn, Germany voted unanimously to place the Spanish colonial structures on the list of World Heritage sites.

Mission San José. Photo by Scott Ball.

San Antonio Missions & Alamo Now a World Heritage Site

San Antonio’s four Spanish colonial Missions and the Alamo, a world-famous symbol of heroic sacrifice and a former mission, were formally named a World Heritage site Sunday at the 39th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, a triumphant conclusion to a multi-year effort that included restoration of the Mission churches and the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River, and expansion of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Missions Receive Key World Heritage Endorsement

The International Council on Monuments and Sites has endorsed the 2014 World Heritage nomination of the Alamo and four other missions – Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada, bringing San Antonio’s Spanish colonial treasures one step closer to the coveted international recognition.

Mission Espada, one of the five San Antonio missions nominated for the World Heritage List is currently undergoing restoration work. Photo by Carol Baass Sowa.

Missions National Historic Park Expansion Approved

Six months before UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meets in Bonn, Germany to consider adding the Spanish Missions and Alamo to its list of unique cultural places and properties, the long-sought expansion of San Antonio Missions National Historic Park is finally becoming a reality.