Tuesday, July 15, 2014
San Fernando Cathedral (Downtown San Antonio)
"It would not be an over-exaggeration to say that San Fernando Cathedral has, literally, been the spiritual and geographical heart of San Antonio for nearly 300 years, and there is even an official seal set into the floor church affirming this. It is, in fact, the oldest active Roman Catholic cathedral in Texas, one of the oldest in all of North America, and the mother church of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and seat of its archbishop.
As one of the oldest extant buildings in the city and the site of what most people today would consider to be some very strange practices, it is perhaps not too surprising that San Fernando Cathedral would have a reputation for spiritual activity. Phenomena people claim to have witnessed at the site include spectral faces appearing on the walls and the apparition of a white horse galloping across the plaza in front of the church. Inside it definitely does, in any event, have a sacred and even otherworldly atmosphere."
Those are the first two paragraphs of my chapter on San Fernando Cathedral for Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country! I have visited San Fernando Cathedral a number of times and, most recently, had the privilege of doing so with Allison Schiess, one of the title members of Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours. She is a descendant of the Canary Islanders who built the church and I very much enjoyed hearing her unique and personal perspectives on it.
Top left: the seal marking San Fernando Cathedral as the center of San Antonio. Top right: The sepulcher containing the cremated remains of James Bowie, William B. Travis, and David Crockett. Bottom: A postcard from the era 1901-1914 showing the cathedral and main plaza.