Designation of the San Antonio Missions, Texas as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 6, 2015


The Department of State welcomes yesterday’s decision by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to inscribe the San Antonio Missions in Texas, a series of four missions making up a U.S. National Historical Park, plus the Alamo, as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This prestigious designation is a global recognition of the site’s outstanding universal value.  The San Antonio Missions become the 23rd U.S. site on the World Heritage List, which includes the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.

The San Antonio Missions, consisting of Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada and Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), are the largest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in North America and embody nearly 300 years of history and culture.  The missions shaped the San Antonio landscape with their acequias, farmfields, ranchlands, and compounds. They are a testament to the confluence of Indigenous and Spanish colonial peoples from around the empire of New Spain who were brought together to share technologies, art, and cultures.  The missions continued to play an important role in early Mexican history and in the struggle for Texas independence, contributions that can still be seen in the modern layout of the streets and neighborhoods of San Antonio.

The United States appreciates the work of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee as it seeks to protect and preserve historical, cultural or natural sites of global significance.

For more information on the San Antonio Missions, visit: http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm, www.visitsanantonio.com, and www.missionsofsanantonio.org, and follow #MissionsofSanAntonio and #WorldHeritageMissionsSA on Twitter.  More information about the U.S. and World Heritage is available at: www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/worldheritage.htm