As conquistadors of centuries ago explored new lands for "God, Gold and Glory," the Church played an integral part in colonization and dominion over vast New World empires. Missions were often first permanent Spanish settlement in new areas. To protect mission endeavors, a presidio (fort) was usually built nearby and manned by Spanish military forces.
Such was Presidio Santa Maria del Loreto de la Baha, established in 1749 near Mission Espritu Santo. It grew into one of the more important forts on the Spanish frontier, and is the finest example of a complete Spanish presidio in Texas. Its chapel is still in regular use for religious services.
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Except major holidays
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