GOLIAD Population- 2,059 Altitude. 187

Historical marker at Presidio La BahiaGeneral-

One of Texas' oldest municipalities, the area was inhabited long before recorded history.  Early Spanish explorers list an Aranama Indian village at the site, then called Santa Dorotea.  In 1749 Spain established a mission and as was custom, a nearby presidio (fort) for protection.  "Remember Goliad" became a Texas Revolution battle cry honoring Col. James W. Fannin Jr. and his men who were massacred at Goliad.  Memorial services at the grave of Colonel Fannin and his troops is performed on the weekend near March 27.

Fannin Plaza-

This city park at S. Market and Franklin Streets, includes Texas Revolution cannon, memorial shaft and several historical markers.  Nearby is "hanging tree" on the courthouse lawn and Market House Museum.

General Zaragoza State Historic Site-

Both a state park and international historic site, reconstructed birthplace and statue of one of Mexico's most famous military figures, General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862).  The Mexican general and liberal leader was minister of war under Juarez.  In 1862 he commanded an outnumbered and poorly equiped Mexican army in defense of the Central Mexico city of Puebla against elite Frence forces.  Zaragoza flung back the attacking army, inflicting heavy losses and forcing its withdrawal to the east coast.  It is not generally known that this French army had proposed to march into Texas to establish aid and a supply line to Confederate forces.  The battle date, Cinco de Mayo (May 5), is a national holiday throughout Mexico, and is celebrated here and in several Texas cities.  The site is two miles south off U.S. 183 at Presidio La Bahia.

Mission Espiritu SantoGoliad State Park-

188 acre park features restored Mission Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga, generally called Mission Espiritu Santo.   Excellent interpretive displays, plus camping and picnicking area, rest rooms and river fishing spots.  The Mission was established in 1749 to Christianize Indian inhabitants of the area.  Located one mile south off U.S. 183.  A junior-size Olympic swimming pool, across the highway and not a part of the park is operated by the city of Goliad.  Open noon-8p.m. in summer.

Grave of Col. James W. Fannin Jr. and Men-

A monument marks the grave of Colonel Fannin and 342 men who had surrendered to Mexican forces during the Texas Revolution and were massacred at the order of General Santa, Anna on Palm Sunday morning, March 27, 1836.  Located two miles south of Goliad off U.S. 183, a few hundred yards from Presidio La Bahia.

Market House Museum-

Quaint structure with cupola on the courthouse square.  Local historical artifacts, and chamber of commerce offering details and brochures about abundant historic sites in this area.  Open Wed.- Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Located at Franklin and Market streets.

Chapel at Presidio La BahiaPresidio La Bahia-

As conquistadors of centuries ago explored new lands for "God, Gold and Glory," the Church played an integral part in colonization and dominion over vast New World empires.  Missions were often the first permanent Spanish settlement in new areas.  To protect mission endeavors, a presidio (fort) was usually built nearby and named by Spanish military forces.

Such was Presidio Santa Maria del Loreto de la Bahia, established in 1749 near Mission Espiritu Santo.  It grew into one of the more important forts on the Spanish frontier, and is the finest example of a complete Spanish presidio in Texas.   Its chapel is still in regular use for religious services.

Excavation and restoration of the massive stone walls and other structures of the fort have been completed by the Kathryn O'Connor Foundation.

It was in this presidio during the 1836 Texas Revolution, that Fannin's men were imprisoned after their surrender.  They were subsequently massacred in violation of honorable terms upon which they had laid down their arms.

A museum houses articles discovered during restoration, including memorabilia of the Texas Revolution, and artifacts indicating nine levels of civilization at the site.  Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Good Friday and Christmas.   Located two miles south off U.S. 183, immediately south of San Antonio River.


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