The city’s origins are tied to the 1718 San Antonio de Bexar Presidio (fort) and the nearby village of San Fernando de Bexar, chartered in 1731 by a group of people from the Canary Islands. Around this time, several of San Antonio’s  most significant structures were constructed on two of the city’s major plazas, Military and Main. The Spanish Governor’s Palace  was completed in 1749, and, nearly 10 years later, the San Fernando de Bexar Church was built just around the corner.
San Antonio became a major hub of activity during the Texas Revolution, and was the site of several notable clashes, including the 1835 Siege of Bexar and the memorable 1836 Battle of the Alamo . Once Texas entered the Union in 1845, people began arriving in droves from the eastern part of the country and from European nations via Gulf Coast  ports (mainly Galveston ).
Many of the city’s newcomers were involved with the cattle industry, and aspects of city life soon revolved around the agriculture business since most early trail drives went through San Antonio . A good portion of this ranching activity centered on the city’s main plazas, especially at banks, saloons, mercantile stores, and fancy hotels like the Menger, St. Anthony, and Gunter. The more prosperous ranchers had homes in the tony King William District just south of downtown.
The cowboys who gathered at the plazas and stockyards were appropriate ambassadors of San Antonio’s multicultural makeup, since their skills and equipment were largely based on the vaqueros who rustled cattle and worked the ranches in Mexico before Anglos started arriving in Texas. From branding to roping to riding, the Mexican influence on ranching in Texas was profound, and in San Antonio, the impact reached far beyond the barbed wire.
San Antonio  would go on to flourish in the late 1800s and early 1900s, thanks in large part to the railroads and highway systems that kept the economy strong with agricultural trade and the military bases that proliferated the area. By the middle of the 20th century, the city had gained a reputation as a major travel destination due to its moderate climate and dynamic history. San Antonio became one of the country’s most-visited cities as a result of its abundant attractions and appealing mid-continental location for industry conventions.