San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio

4.8
#3 of 17 in Historic Sites in San Antonio
One of the oldest cathedrals in the country and a great example of Spanish colonial architecture, San Fernando Cathedral was founded in 1731, and today holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The church serves as the epicenter of Roman Catholicism in the city, and draws a large number of visitors and locals to its services and events. With symmetrical towers, high doorways, and stained-glass windows, the cathedral is reminiscent of grand European churches. The current Gothic-style appearance dates to renovations during the 1860s and 1870s. Don't miss the tomb of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, who fell defending the Alamo. According to local legend, remains of more fallen Texans lie beneath the floors of the newer sections. Add San Fernando Cathedral to your San Antonio travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our San Antonio trip planning tool .
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San Fernando Cathedral Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,575 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We were told to go to this church in the evening for s light show and not knowing what to expect. They darken the church and then the music starts playing and the slide show begins. Whoever thought th...  more »
  • This historic and lovely cathedral houses the remains of Crockett, Bowie, and other defenders of the Alamo.  more »
  • Such a special place for mass in this place of so much Texas history and legend. The Cathedral has been very well maintained over the years. Come to mass early and stay late and enjoy the holy presenc...  more »
Google
  • FYI Sunday Morning 8 a.m. mass is in Spanish and telivisied in many Latin countries. My family has been attending Catholic Mass here for almost 20 years. The people are great, all are welcome. Some people come dressed up others come in shorts and polo shirts. Doesn't matter, just come and be respectful. Make it a point to see the original church behind the alter. Don't forget to visit the gift shop or restaurant in the courtyard beside the church. See you there!
  • Great stop to make. This place has the Spirit of the city.
  • Visited the Cathedral to view the Light Show...The Saga. Was very impressed by the music and visuals but especially the history and culture of this great city depicted during the 24 minute FREE presentation. Plays each weekend and Tuesdays at 9, 9:30 and 10pm. Free downtown parking on Tuesday nights so it's an added plus.
  • Both the building and the congregation are warm and gracious. At the 10am mass there is a small choir that enhances the congregation's worship. Sometimes the service is done half in English and half in Spanish, supported by a bi-lingual missal. The Mercado and its restaurants are a few blocks west.
  • Amazing looking cathedral. It was closed when I went so I didn't get to go inside but the building is just incredible.

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Where to stay in San Antonio

To be at the heart of San Antonio's buzzing atmosphere and attractions, stay along the city's River Walk. Lined with hotels of all levels, the area is known for excellent dining and nightlife, and is close to all of the city's main sights. While this area tends to be pricier than other neighborhoods, it is the best option for those traveling without a car who want to take full advantage of their vacation time in San Antonio. For a more rustic experience, venture outside of the city limits to stay at one of the old-world guest ranches that dot the beautiful countryside.
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