The "Oldest Town in Texas," Nacogdoches was named for the Caddo family of Indians who once lived in the area. The town remained a Caddo settlement until 1716 when Spain established a mission here. For more than a hundred years Nacogdoches was the major eastern gateway to Texas. The city is often referred to as the "Cradle of Texas Liberty." The town offers visitors insight into the fight for Texas independence. While six flags have flown over Texas, nine flags, including those of three abortive republics flew over Nacogdoches.
Numerous landmarks and museums pay tribute to the town's historic past, which makes it a popular tourist destination today. The city is also home to Stephen F. Austin State University.