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Wednesday 26 April 2017

Heritage body remembers the Alamo

A pre-dawn memorial ceremony at the Alamo to remember the 1836 battle (AP)
A pre-dawn memorial ceremony at the Alamo to remember the 1836 battle (AP)

Texas has hailed a United Nations committee's decision to add the Alamo and four other Spanish Roman Catholic missions to Unesco's list of world heritage sites.

The Unesco World Heritage committee added the sites, known as the San Antonio Missions, to the list during a meeting in Bonn, Germany.

State congressman Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio native, said he was "proud and grateful" to the cultural body.

"Not only does the World Heritage Site designation raise San Antonio's international profile, it stands to add over a thousand jobs and more than 100 million dollars (£64.5m) to our city's economy," he said.

The missions were built in the 18th century in and around what is now the city of San Antonio to convert indigenous people to Catholicism and make them Spanish subjects. Disease reduced the native population, accelerating the missions' decline.

The Alamo featured in a famous 1836 battle in which Texas settlers seized the mission from the Mexican army, but were eventually routed.

In the Battle of San Jacinto, then-victorious Texas soldiers shouted: "Remember the Alamo!"

The missions and the land around them became a national park in 1983, and all except the Alamo are still used as Catholic parishes.

Officials hope the designation of the largest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in the US will boost tourism.

Press Association

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