Goliad, the other Alamo

Another GPS goof.   We were headed to Port Aransas and had just gone through the small town of Goliad when the Garmin decided we needed to be heading east instead of south like we had been all day.  What the heck?   I pulled over to zoom out on the map and sure enough it wanted us to go left to the coast and then cut back adding who knows how many miles to our route.  Why the heck would I want to go that way?   The other road did seem to be the more heavily travelled but we decided to carry on and ignore the GPS once again.

Its fortunate we did because further down the road was a awesome white mission gleaming through the tree line.  I unfortunately did not save those pictures before i lost my little camera, they weren’t very good anyway.  They wanted you to pay at the road entrance just to get close enough to get a good picture, screw that..

Further on down the road we saw this, WOW!  It looked like a weathered old Spanish fort that  you’d expect to see in Central or South America, not in Texas.   We were not planning on stopping but we took a few pictures and rode around the back wall of the extensive complex and decided we just had to stay and check this out so we were more than happy to pay to go inside.   This is the business model that the other mission should adopt.

If you are going this way ignore the GPS and take the road less travelled.  Had we blindly paid attention to where the GPS told us to go we would have missed all of this.   The Presidio la Bahia is amazing and well worth the stop. We almost had the place to ourselves there was only two other families exploring the big complex with us.

Rather than retell all of the amazing history of this place I’ve added links on all of the pictures with text to the originals so that you may read them better.   There is also quite an extensive amount of history available on the Goliad Massacre and the Presidio.   It is because of the Alamo and especially the brutal take no prisoners policy of the Mexicans during the Goliad campaign that the rebels rallied for revenge and ultimately won the war.

Everyone has heard of The Alamo but very few have heard of Goliad with a higher death toll than the Alamo and the other battles combined, infact before watching the historical films yesterday I knew nothing about it either. Goliad or Presidio la Bahia, however, is far better in terms of its preservation and authenticity. It is the only complete Presidio in the United States.  It may not have the multimedia, flashy exhibits and numerous artifact examples brought in from elsewhere like its more famous cousin but it does have an entire unmolested Spanish Fort.

Here the size of the parade grounds, the walls and all the attached buildings and the church are very impressive.  The view you see from the highway of it perched ontop of a hill it looks very imposing with its aged and weathered stone.  At the Alamo you have one building and a small section of barracks, the vast majority of the original site is under pavement and store fronts, at Goliad you get the full effect of what the Alamo would have looked like back in it’s day.

Inside one of the barracks.

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