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One fine May day back in 1718, an Andalusian Franciscan friar, Antonio de Olivares, established the Misión San Antonio de Valero in an area first explored in the late 17th-century by Spaniards out of Quéretaro in New Spain (present-day Mexico), to establish Spanish presence and evangelise the local Payaya people. Over the succeeding decades, five more Catholic missions were built, forming the nucleus of the town that eventually grew into today’s city, but that first mission – which later came to be known as the Alamo (top) – was the one that became the symbol of San Antonio.
And this year, this city of just over 1½ million (greater metro area nearly 2½ million) has been rolling out a programme of observances and celebrations to mark its tricentennial. The core week of San Antonio 300 was the first week of May, but a number of big exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and other events remain throughout the rest of the year. And of course, Texas‘ second largest city (after Houston, and by the way seventh largest in the USA overall) will remain a delight to visit in year 301 and beyond. Let me count the ways…