A historical landmark from the sixteenth century onward in Texas history, this chapel and fortress has served many purposes throughout its storied life. From humble beginnings as a small chapel in the desert, it has served as a place of worship, a monument, a beacon, a fortress, and now a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history kept within.


     Originally founded in 1721 as a small church, the Presidio originally served as a chapel to Spanish settlers, but after two relocations, was designated a more prominent role serving as a fortification to the Spanish army to prevent the French and English from any further settlement. Later in the century it also served as the principal naval defense fort for the area, despite being quite a bit inland. As a naval fort, it had some participation in the American Revolutionary war, as the Spanish Army assisted in fighting the British. 1.
       Later in its life, it became the first Mexican military establishment to be attacked in the battle of Texan independence. The attack was carried out by a group of about forty men, led by Captain Ben Collingsworth, and paved the way for the true declaration and battle for Texas independence, which then led to the Republic of Texas, and in turn its acquisition by the United States. 2.
   After this, and a few failed assaults upon it, the land was eventually given back to the Catholic church, and in the mid 1960s, a local charitable foundation paid to restore the fortress back to its appearance in 1836, to commemorate the sacrifices made for independence.3.


1. http://www.presidiolabahia.org/early_history.htm 2. http://www.presidiolabahia.org/texas_revolution.htm 3. http://www.presidiolabahia.org/after_the_revolution.htm