This Presidio Served as a Military Location for Four Independent Nations

 | August 25, 2022

Credit: Nuestro Stories

The Presidio Nuestro Senora de Loreto de la Bahia, located in the area now known as Goliad, Texas, was an area known for its military significance. The Presidio served the people of four independent nations – Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the eventual United States. 

Read more: This Presidio Has Fallen to Spanish, Mexican, and American Rule

The Significance of the Presidio

La Bahia was constructed in 1749 to protect the Spanish missions in what is now identified as South Texas. It played a historic role in the development of the mixture of Spanish and Mexican culture in the area, along with playing a large role in the various conflicts that took place over the years, from the Mexican Revolution to the Texas War of Independence. While the Spanish originally began populating the area in the 1670s, mostly to prevent further colonization attempts by the French who were also becoming more interested in the area. 

The fertile land, missions, and military presence attracted quite a few of the Spanish ranchers and farmers to the area, and soon the presidio began to grow into a sizable colony – growing so large that it eventually had to be renamed, taking the name of Goliad, which it still maintains to this day. 

The area thrived for years until the 1790s, which coincided with the early beginnings of the Mexican Revolution. The Presidio changed hands multiple times between the 1790s and 1800s as the area was a site for several conflicts over the course of the war for Independence – both on the Mexican and the Texas side of things. In 1835, the Presidio was taken from the Mexicans by the Texan forces. During the winter of that year, Colonel James Fannin, who was in control of the Fort, began to fear approaching Mexican forces and had the army retreat. Not long after their retreat, the incident at the Alamo occurred. Mexican forces took the Texans hostage for a week until the word came from General Santa Anna to execute them all. On March 27, 1836, nearly 400 Texan soldiers lost their lives. From there, Bahia was abandoned. 

As it stands now, the Presidio Nuestra Senora de Loreto de la Bahia is both a state and national landmark and has become a fairly popular tourist attraction. There is a history museum for the area housed in the old officer’s quarters, which houses artifacts from the area. 

Things to Know Before You Visit 

  • The fort is open from 9 am to 4:45 pm daily, except for the major holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. 
  • The Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto is one of the oldest extant churches in the United States and has been continually operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, TX since 1853. 
  • The Chapel houses a fresco by a renowned Corpus Christi artist Antonio Garcia, a well-known Corpus Christi artist. 

This Presidio Served as a Military Location for Four Independent Nations nuestro stories
Credit: Google Earth

Location: Goliad, TX 77963

Address: 217 US-183 Hwy

View a portion of it here.×250.jpeg

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