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S es TE T X reasur San Fernando Cathedral By Wes Altom R Photos by Kelly Sue Photography Remember the Alamo? Texans did, and Texans still do. In fact, over 2.5 million people from Texas and beyond visit the historic mission and battle site each year. Just a few blocks away, however, is San Fernando Cathedral, a lesser known historic structure in the “middle” of it all—one with close ties to the Alamo and its own stories to tell—tales of walls which still stand… and heroes who fell. History The original church of San Fernando was built between 1738 and 1750 by Spanish-directed immi- grants from the Canary Islands. The Spanish hoped that establishing a settlement in the area would prevent a French incursion. The patronesses of the church were those of the settlers and soldiers in the area: Nuestra Señora de la Candelária (Our Lady of Candlemas), a patroness of the Canary Islands, and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), the patroness of what would later become Mexico. The original walls still stand today, forming what is now the sanctuary (the area around and behind the altar) of the pres- ent church. These walls are the oldest standing structure in the State of Texas. The dome of the original church was the geographic center of the city and the point from which all mileage was calculated to San Antonio. San Fernando is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest cathedral in the United What a e r a e ding? you R A new way to tell us what you’re reading! 30 Postcards Magazine: Montgomery County Edition | December 2013 The cathedral is the oldest standing structure in the State of Texas. Tim Paulsel reading Judy Aguilar No Easy Day: reading The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden By Mark Owen The Racketeer By John Grisham