(Photo by Lois M. Rodriguez)

Fiesta, San Antonio has gotten underway, but this year, there’s an added reason for the city to celebrate. Today is World Heritage Day and that now includes the San Antonio Missions, which were designated as a World Heritage site on July 5, 2015.

Upcoming Events

April 18, 7-9 p.m.: Texas Cavaliers River Parade, San Antonio Missions Float to Celebrate World Heritage and the National Park Service Centennial

April 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m: History and Genealogy Day, Mission San Jose

April 25, 6-7 p.m.: Yoga at Mission Espada

May 4- Sept. 4: Nuestra Historia – Our History: Spain in Bexar County, Presidio Gallery, 126 E. Nueva St.

May 6-7: Tricentennial Symposium: Spain’s Encounter with the New World (the Indios), Bexar County Courthouse, Double Height Courtroom

May 6, 8 p.m. at Mission San José, May 7, 2 p.m. at Mission San Juan and 8 p.m. at Mission Concepción, May 8, 2 p.m. Mission Espada: Music Inspired by John Muir

May 7, The Alamo, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Homespun: Fibers and Fabrics of the 19th Century (Free)

May 14, 8:45 a.m. race start: Amazing Preservation Race

May 17, 5:30 p.m.: Etched in Stone: Discover Historic Graffiti at the Alamo

May 18, 6 p.m.: Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo): Investigating the Probable First Site

May 21, 9 a.m.: Amazing Preservation Race (for Kids), Mission San José

It’s the first time San Antonio, and Texas, gets to celebrate the World Heritage designation given last summer to its five Spanish colonial missions, including the Alamo. To celebrate World Heritage Day today and over the next several weeks, the City of San Antonio and National Park Service invite people to visit the Missions, shoot some photos and tag them on social media with the #WorldHeritage hashtag.

“Last year, San Antonio came together to celebrate our Missions’ World Heritage designation in grand fashion,” said District 3 City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran. “Over the last nine months, our City has united with the community to create the World Heritage Work Plan, charting a course for how we will position ourselves as a World Heritage City. Now, we join together with other World Heritage sites throughout the globe to celebrate, especially on days like World Heritage Day, our heritage that started at the San Antonio Missions.”

Indeed, San Antonio’s Missions symbolize an era when the world was expanding, cultures were intertwining and the global landscape was forever changed. The missions today serve as a living example of the bringing together of indigenous, Spanish, Mexican and other influences that form contemporary South Texas. 

The theme for this year’s World Heritage Day celebration is “The Heritage of Sport.” Dedicating the worldwide celebration to the heritage of sports has the purpose of recognizing the role of sports in the improvement of human life, and raising awareness of how sports shaped the cultural identity of World Heritage site communities throughout the world.

Get more Texas in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletters and never miss a moment of what’s happening around the state.