Goliad State Park & Historic Site

September 18, 2013 - Site improvements at Mission Espiritu Santo are in progress. The mission museum will be closed October 29, 2013 through December 2014. The mission compound grounds, chapel, and workshop will remain open to the public during this time. Please contact the park in advance of your arrival to insure the availability of your specific interest.

History

 

Goliad State Park is 188.3 acres, located by Goliad in Goliad County. In 1931, acreage was accepted by the state legislature from the city and county of Goliad and transferred to the State Parks Board in 1949. Surrounding ranches and oil fields remind visitors of the role the area played in the unfolding of Texas' history and economy.

The park, located on the San Antonio River, contains a refurnished replica of Mission Nuestra Senora del Espíritu Santo de Zuniga, reconstructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The mission was originally established in 1722 near Matagorda Bay and moved to its present site in 1749. This mission was the first large cattle ranch in Texas, supplying its own needs and those of Spanish colonial settlements as far away as Louisiana. The park also contains General Ignacio Zaragoza's Birthplace, Plaza and Amphitheater, which are located near Presidio La Bahia. General Zaragoza assumed command of the rag-tag Mexican Army and welded it into a staunch fighting force, which met and defeated the French on May 5, 1862, in the Battle of Puebla, which led to Mexico's independence from France. Park property also contains the ruins of Mission Nuestra Señora del Rosario, established in 1754, located four miles west of Goliad on U.S. Highway 59.

For more historical information, visit the University of Texas' Center for American History exhibition "'To Whom Was This Sacrifice Useful?' The Texas Revolution and the Narrative of José Enrique de la Peña." The exhibit showcases examples from the center's archival collections relating to the history of the Texas Revolution. Items included in this exhibit are a daguerreotype of the mission church of the Alamo, which is the earliest datable photograph taken in Texas; the battle plan at the Alamo; and the Texas Declaration of Independence.


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