Spanish Mission of Goliad

The Presidio La Bahia in Goliad is known as the birthplace of Texas independence. With a presidio comes a chapel and of course a mission. As with the , the Mission Espiritu Santo is also located on the San Antonio river. It was the first large cattle ranch in Texas supplying the needs of the Spanish settlements as far away as Louisiana.

Spanish Mission Espiritu Santu in Goliad

Goliad Mission Espiritu Santo

inside Mission Espiritu Santo

inside window of goliad mission
This is file #1111 entered into this blog if you're keeping track

Mission wall with door

skull and crossbones at Mission Espiritu Santo

THIS was on the mission! Explain why a mission has a skull and crossbones on it? I can’t.

Presidio La Bahia

Last stop before heading back was Presidio La Bahia, “the Fort of the Bay”. Established in 1721 and moved to its present location in 1749, this fort is the most fought over in Texas history having seen 6 National revolutions / wars of independence. Spanish, Mexican and Texas soldiers have all garrisoned its walls.

Presidio La Bahia in goliad cannon

Soldiers here fought with the Spanish army against the British during the American Revolution, making Goliad the only community west of the Mississippi to participate in that war. The cattle industry has its roots here too, as the soldiers oversaw herds from the two nearby missions (Espiritu Santo and Rosario).

Presidio La Bahia door too

chapel door at Presidio in goliad

Presidio La Bahia door

The Texas revolution from Mexico started here as well. The first declaration of Texas Independence was declared at the Presidio December 20, 1835 and the first flag of Texas was flown. Might it have looked like this? I wondered if this is where the lone star originated?

texas independence at goliad

Presidio La Bahia Chapel

The chapel at the Presidio, “Our lady of Loreto”, is the oldest building in the compound in continuous use since the 1700’s. It is one of the oldest churches in America. Restored in the 1960’s it is considered one of the most authentic restoration projects in the US.

Goliad Presidio La Bahia chapel

Presidio La Bahia chapel window with candles

inside Presidio La Bahia chapel sanctuary

During our stay at the Sea Breeze RV Park in Portland Texas, we learned how important Texas history is to Texans. Their state constitution is unique and from a Canadian’s point of view, Texas state patriotism rivals that of the entire United States. Independence happened twice in this America, once in Texas and once for the US as a whole. Goliad is the central point of that history and it’s Spanish mission, presidio and court house reflect that history. These photographs of the Spanish Mission and the Presidio are part of Dar’s tip to Goliad.

4 thoughts on “Spanish Mission of Goliad”

  1. Soledad Garcia

    I am left speechless by the pictures of the Spanish missions. I love it that both the “general atmosphere” pictures, like the Espiritu Santu in Goliad or Presidio La Bahia, and the ones with only a tiny detail -wood grain, and a flower ornment- are equally successful at conveying a strong dramatic impression, like you’re not really allowed to watch, like these images are stolen somewhat… VERY compelling viewing…

  2. Very moving images of Goliad. As a fifth generation native of Goliad who’s been gone since 1966, you’ve captured many memories and emotions of my youth – thank you! So much so that I’d be interested in visiting with you about licensing your photos and showing them in Goliad. Best, Mark Schindler

  3. Thanks Mark, got your comment and your phone number. We’ve removed it from the blog for your security, but I do have it. I actually have quite a few more images that what’s posted here. We could arrange for you to see more of them and pick what you want. I’ll get in touch with you by email and we can go from there. You can reach me at

  4. Pingback: Two chapels « Shared thoughts…

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