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The Alamo is an 18th-century mission church in San Antonio, Texas. It was originally built to be the church for the Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was founded in 1718. The church was built by Spanish Franciscan friars in order to convert the local Indians to Christianity.
The Construction of the Alamo: The construction of the Alamo building started on May 8, 1744. It was built with blocks of locally-quarried limestone. Originally, the Alamo was designed to have two bell towers and a domed roof. Everything but the outer walls of the building collapsed while it was being built, and the towers and vaulted roof were never completed. The date 1758 is carved in the keystone over the front doorway. The Alamo was used as a church until 1793, when it was abandoned.
The Battle of the Alamo: The Alamo was the scene of a pivotal battle in the fight for the independence of Texas from Mexico. In the early 1800s, Texas belonged to Mexico. During the Texas war for independence from Mexico, Spanish troops occupied the abandoned building, now used as a fortress, calling it Alamo. The word álamo is Spanish for cottonwood (a type of tree that grows in the area).
In 1836, Col. William B. Travis, James Bowie, Davy Crockett, and almost 200 other Texan volunteers occupied the Alamo. After unsuccessfully defending the Alamo for 13 days against an army of thousands of Mexican soldiers led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Texans died on March 6, 1836.
The Independence of Texas: The phrase, "Remember the Alamo!" soon became the battlecry that was used by Sam Houston when he defeated Gen. Santa Anna a few weeks later at San Jacinto (on April 21, 1836), winning independence for Texas. Texas then became an independent republic (led by Sam Houston), and on December 29, 1845, Texas became a US state.
The Reconstruction of the Alamo:
The Alamo was severely damaged in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The ruins were rebuilt by the U.S. Army in 1850. The building was bought by the state of Texas in 1905. The Alamo was later given to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who maintain the Alamo as a public monument and a shrine to the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo.
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