San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas
City of San Antonio
Downtown San Antonio Skyline at Night in 2019.jpg
The Alamo 2019 v2.jpg
Riverwalk 2019 v2.jpg
The Pearl San Antonio 2019.jpg
Six Flags San Antonio 2019 v2.jpg
SeaWorld San Antonio 2019 v2.jpg
Torch of Friendship 2019.jpg
From top to bottom, left to right: Downtown San Antonio, The Alamo, the Riverwalk, The Pearl, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, and the Torch of Friendship.
Flag of San Antonio, Texas
Official seal of San Antonio, Texas
Coat of arms of San Antonio, Texas
Coat of arms
[1][2][3][4] Alamo City, Military City USA, River City, The 210, S.A., Countdown City, Something to Remember
Location within Bexar County
Location within Bexar County
San Antonio is located in Texas
San Antonio
San Antonio
Location within Texas
San Antonio is located in the United States
San Antonio
San Antonio
Location within the United States
San Antonio is located in North America
San Antonio
San Antonio
Location within North America
Coordinates: 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29°25′N 98°30′W / 29.417; -98.500Texas
CountiesBexar, Medina, Comal
FoundationMay 1, 1718[6]
IncorporatedJune 5, 1837[7]
Named forSaint Anthony of Padua
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • BodySan Antonio City Council
 • MayorRon Nirenberg (I)
 • City ManagerErik Walsh
 • City Council
 • City465.4 sq mi (1,205.4 km2)
 • Land460.93[8] sq mi (1,193.7 km2)
 • Water4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
650 ft (198 m)
 • City1,532,233[5] (7th)
 • Density3,241.76/sq mi (1,238.2/km2)
 • Metro
2,518,036 (24th)
 • Demonym
San Antonian
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Zip Codes
78201-66, 78268-70, 78275, 78278-80, 78283-89, 78291-99
Area codes210 (majority), 830 (portions), 726
Primary AirportSan Antonio International Airport
SAT (Major/International)
InterstatesI-10 (TX).svg I-35 (TX).svg I-37 (TX).svg I-410 (TX).svg
U.S. RoutesUS 87.svg US 90.svg US 181.svg

San Antonio (/; from Spanish, "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, with more than 1.5 million residents.[9] Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality, having celebrated its 300th anniversary on May 1, 2018.[10][11][12]

The city's deep history is contrasted with its rapid growth over the past few decades. 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.[13][14] 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". The Greater San Antonio and Greater Austin areas are separated from each other by a few miles along Interstate 35 between New Braunfels, Texas and San Marcos, Texas. Despite the two metros being so close, it is one of the few regions in the United States without an official Combined Statistical Area issued by the census bureau.

San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County; recent annexations have extended the city's boundaries into Medina County and, for a tiny area near the city of Garden Ridge, into Comal County.[15][16] Since San Antonio was founded during the Spanish Colonial Era, it has a church (San Fernando Cathedral) in its center, on the main civic plaza in front, a characteristic of many Spanish-founded cities, towns, and villages in Spain and Latin America.

San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area. Commonly called Greater San Antonio, the metro area has a population of 2,473,974 based on the 2017 U.S. census estimate, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in Texas.[17] 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 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 UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015.[18] 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. It is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, and hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the U.S.

The U.S. Armed Forces have numerous facilities in and around San Antonio; Fort Sam Houston is the only one within the city limits. Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis, and Camp Stanley are 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 parts 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.


Historical affiliations
 Spanish Empire 1769–1821
Mexican Empire 1821–1823
United Mexican States 1823–1836
 Republic of Texas 1836–1846
 United States of America 1846–1861
 Confederate States of America 1861–1865
 United States of America 1865–present
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 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.[19]

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 y Tejas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, and construction did not start until 1718.[20] 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.[6]

The families who clustered around the presidio and mission were the start of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas.[21] On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later famous as The Alamo) to Fray Antonio de Olivares.[6] 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.[20]

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.[22]

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.[22]

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.

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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[24]

Juan Seguín, who organized the company of Tejano patriots, who fought for Texas independence, fought at the Battle of Concepción, the Siege of Bexar, and the Battle of San Jacinto, and served as mayor of San Antonio. He was forced out of office due to threats on his life by sectarian newcomers and political opponents in 1842, becoming the last Tejano mayor for nearly 150 years.[25]

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 U.S. 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.[26] Bolstered by migrants and immigrants, by 1860 at the start of the American Civil War, San Antonio had grown to a city of 15,000 people.

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 U.S. 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."[27][28]

Aerial view of San Antonio in 1939

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.[29]

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).[30] In 1990, the United States Census Bureau reported San Antonio's population as 55.6% Hispanic or Latino, 7.0% black, and 36.2% non-Hispanic white.[31]

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and The Alamo became UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015 and the city was designated a UNESCO "City of Creativity for Gastronomy" in 2017, one of only 26 gastronomy creative cities in the world.[18]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: San Antonio
العربية: سان أنطونيو
azərbaycanca: San-Antonio
تۆرکجه: سن‌آنتونیو
bamanankan: San Antonio
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
татарча/tatarça: Сан-Антонио
Türkçe: San Antonio
українська: Сан-Антоніо
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: San Antonio
vepsän kel’: San Antonio
Tiếng Việt: San Antonio
ייִדיש: סאן אנטאניא
Yorùbá: San Antonio