WHS Tentative List: Place to Love — San Antonio Franciscan Missions, Texas

For the Gadling series “World Heritage Site new “Tentative List”: Places to Love” we are covering the 14 sites that have been submitted for possible inclusion as an official World Heritage Site in the United States. The sites will not be posted in order of importance or in the order they appear on the list.

Name of site: San Antonio Franciscan Missions

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Reason for importance (in a nutshell): According to the National Park Service website, the five Franciscan missions, which are spread around San Antonio, “are a remarkable concentration of surviving structures that superbly represent the Spanish colonial influence in this part of the New World. The religious, economic and technological systems of the missionaries created settled communities that became the basis of the region’s ethnically diverse society.” The most well-known of the five, the Alamo, was established in 1718 as a way station between missions.

Catherine’s take: We have so few structures in the US that are truly old. And while 350 years may be positively newborn to a European, that time frame marks a lot of history for the New World.