See more events below!

Say Congratulations!
Activities For Kids News

San Antonio's Missions Designated

a World Heritage Site


















July 5, 2015 – San Antonio’s five Spanish colonial missions have been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are extremely exceptional cultural and natural properties nominated voluntarily by signatory nations, which are then approved by the World Heritage Committee.

The city’s missions officially join the global ranks of Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China and the Gizeh Pyramid of Egypt. This prestigious designation comes as Texas’ first and the 23rd in the United States.  Other U.S. sites include the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Louisiana’s Poverty Point (2014) and others. View the full UNESCO World Heritage Sites  List here.


The designation was confirmed today at the 39th annual session of the World Heritage Convention in Bonn, Germany. The U.S. and San Antonio were well represented in Bonn with a delegation of public and private entities led by the U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO, Crystal Nix-Hines, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service and the National Parks Conservation Association. The San Antonio delegation included San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (District 3), Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and representatives from the San Antonio River Authority, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The University of Texas College of Architecture, Construction and Planning and the National Park Foundation. The lengthy and technical nomination process began in 2006 at the initiation of the San Antonio Conservation Society, and has truly been a massive communitywide effort with significant support from many organizations.  In addition to those listed above, Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, The State of Texas General Land Office, and others played a key role. (See attachment for a listing of the World Heritage Advisory Committee members and resources).


The World Heritage designation is expected to be a catalyst for socio-economic change.  The greatest economic impact would come from"The San Antonio Missions are now the first World Heritage Site in the state and the 23rd in the nation. This community is known for protecting its heritage and I have no doubt we will continue sharing our heritage with the world.”County Judge Nelson Wolff increased visitation and tourism spending. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are especially recognized internationally; there are now 1,008 sites all over the world. By 2025, the World Heritage Site economic impact on San Antonio and Bexar County is expected to generate up to $105 million in additional economic activity and up to 1,098 extra jobs. (Source: Building on a Strong Foundation: Potential Economic Impacts of World Heritage Site Designation for the San Antonio Missions by Bexar County, 2013.)


 “The City of San Antonio is delighted with UNESCO’s action today and the recognition that our Spanish colonial missions are of outstanding cultural and historical value to the people of the world,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor. “The strong collaboration responsible for our application, which includes an ongoing commitment to protect and preserve the missions, will also continue to work together to tell our story to visitors from around the globe and  build even stronger relationships with countries like Mexico and Spain, because we are telling their story too.”


“Bexar County has been heavily invested in the community quest for World Heritage inscription with the Bexar County Historical Commission involvement in writing the application to the investment in the 8-mile Mission Reach that connects four of the missions to funding the economic impact study of becoming a World Heritage Site," County Judge Nelson Wolff said. "The San Antonio Missions are now the first World Heritage Site in the state and the 23rd in the nation. This community is known for protecting its heritage and I have no doubt we will continue sharing our heritage with the world.”


Four of the five missions are located on the south side of the city in City Council District 3. The completion of the San Antonio River Walk Mission Reach in 2013 provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, nature watching and more. Recent commercial and residential developments have attracted much attention to the area, which continues to experience revitalization in new and interesting ways. Landmark restaurants, unique shopping finds, resident and visitor friendly events and festivals, such as Mission Drive-In’s summer movie events, music events and farmers market are popular in the area. Additionally, recreation areas and attractions such as Hangar 9 (Brooks City Base), Riverside Golf Course and Alamo Helicopter Tours, make up part of a rich and celebrated community in San Antonio as part of District 3.


The designation includes the five 18th century Spanish Colonial Missions (to include the Alamo) and their complexes which include two acequia systems, labores (farm fields) and Rancho de las Cabras around Mission Espada.


Editorial images, b-roll, media releases, vital links and possible interviews are available at  Video files of elected officials and other leaders in Bonn are forthcoming for use on broadcast, online, social media sharing and other uses.



For more infomation:

Ximena Copa-Wiggins,

Public Relations Manager

Office of Historic Preservation

O: 210.207.0221

C: 210.557.3992

Upcoming Events

Mission Reach Bike Ride with County Judge Nelson Wolff

October 3

Information and RSVP here

Time 8am

More Events


  • First Saturday at the Alamo

October 3 9am - 4pm

On the first Saturday of every month, the grounds of the Alamo are transformed back in time to the 1830s. Join us for a full day of living history fun that the whole family will enjoy. Learn about life in frontier Texas with special demonstrations and crafts.


  • Private Tour with Pamela Jary Rosser AIC, Alamo Conservator & Susan Snow, World Heritage Coordinator

October 6, 5:30 pm - 8pm

$45 covers tour, bus, refreshments

The exclusive tour includes The Alamo & Mission Concepcion.

RSVP Here / Download flyer here.


  • News Conference For Unvelling of Completed Mission Concepcion Portal

October 7


  • InstaMeet in Floresville @ Peanut Festival

October 10


  • Birds, Bass and Boats Event co-hosted by SARA at Acequia Park SESSION IS FULL

October 10 - Acequia Park

8500 Mission Parkway

Check-In & Welcome: 8:30am

Program: 9:00am - 12pm


  • Bike October Fest World Heritage Site Bike Ride With Judge Wolff

October 10


  • Mission Descendants Ofrenda Display at the Mission San José Granary

October 12 - November 2


  • World Heritage Free Film Screening

October 14, 6:30pm - REI San Antonio

11745 IH-10 West


  • Lecture Series at the Alamo

"The Worlds of a Texas Missionary: Antonio Margil de Jesús, Founder of Mission San José" by Dr. Jesus Frank de la Teja - Regent's Professor of History at Texas State University

October 15

Alamo Hall - 6pm - 8pm

Sponsored by Alamo Endowement

RSVP Here / Download flyer here



Official World Heritage Celebration Weekend for the Community


  • Student Art Exhibit @ Mission Espada and San Juan

October 16 - 18


October 16

  • Rancho de las Cabras

10am - Welcome Ceremony

10:30am - Tour

11:30am - 1pm - Displays, Music and Food sponsored by the Wilson County Historical Commission and the City of Floresville


  • World Heritage Art Activity

6pm - 8pm

Join us for a FREE Diorama art activity at the Mission Concepción Register Here


  • "Restored by Light"

6pm - 10pm

Mission Concepción “Unveiling of the façade at 8pm” with “make and take” art event and food trucks sponsored by SARA, indoor and outdoor music, guided walks to portal and more.


October 17

  • "Archaeology Festival"

9am - 5pm - Mission San José


  • World Heritage Inscription Ceremony

11am - Mission San José


  • Mission San Juan Guided walks of Yanaguana Trail and Acequia trail with SARA and NPS

10pm & 1pm


  • Evening Concert

7pm - Mission San José


October 18

  • Mass Outside

3pm - Mission San José


  • Mission Reach Paddling

  For details visit



  • Farm Day @ Mission San Juan

 November 14



  • Birds, Bass and Boats Event co-hosted by SARA at Acequia Park

November 21

December 12

Acequia Park

8500 Mission Parkway

Check-In & Welcome: 8:30am

Program: 9:00am - 12pm

Missions of San Antonio ©2015 All Rights Reserved