Advertisement

Video: The Alamo -- the most famous building in Texas

Video: The Alamo -- the most famous building in Texas
Built as a mission in the 18th century and famous for a battle that happened in 1836, the Alamo stands in the middle of downtown San Antonio. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

The Alamo might be smaller than a lot of people expect, but it's right in the heart of San Antonio, a couple of blocks from the River Walk. So even if you've forgotten it, you might find yourself there.

This video follows visitors inside and out, early and late. The building was born in the 18th century as a Spanish Catholic mission, one of several along the San Antonio River. But by the early 19th century, it had been secularized and converted into a military garrison. Nowadays it's a shrine to Texas liberty, with weapons, flags and other artifacts on display in a hushed exhibition space inside.

Advertisement

As the signs inside explain, in 1836, when a bunch of American rebels set out to wrestle Texas away from Mexico, they wound up holed up in the Alamo, vastly outnumbered by Mexican troops outside.

The revolutionaries lost the battle — about 200 men died in the fight — but a month later, other revolutionaries (hollering "Remember the Alamo!") effectively won the war by capturing Mexican President Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. That gave Texas nearly a decade of contested independence before it was annexed to the U.S.

"A Minute Away" is a video series in which nothing much happens — except you see the world, and hear it, and get a minute's respite from workaday life. (Actually, some are as long as 1:40.) These are casual moments without talking heads or narration — just natural sound from Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, an Alaska float plane or the reading room of the New York Public Library. We add new ones weekly, and we've got more than 60 of them now, so if you'd prefer a full hour away…

Advertisement
Advertisement