San Fernando may be on the small side, as cathedrals go,
but it's very pretty and has a fascinating history.
It's an important local landmark because of its role
in the Battle of the Alamo.
In happier times, future Alamo hero James Bowie was married here.
But as Bowie defended the Alamo, Mexican general Santa Anna
took over the church as an observation post and raised a flag
of no quarter that began the deadly siege ~
no quarter meaning no prisoners.
In 1936 some remains were uncovered and since they included charred bones
and fragments of uniforms, they were wildly purported to be those of
Davy Crockett, William Travis and James Bowie.
(Never mind that the Alamo defenders didn't wear uniforms.)
The cathedral actively supports this theory, with a plaque on an outside
wall proclaiming that the remains of the Alamo heroes are entombed
in the chapel at the left-hand side of the entrance to the cathedral.
The church hierarchy obviously isn't for letting the truth
stand in the way of a good story.
San Fernando cathedral is also unusual in that
photography is actively encouraged.
I'm not one for idolatry for its own sake, but I do appreciate
the craftsmanship as a art.
So, visiting churches/cathedrals? Yes or no.
How about photography (respecting other visitors or worshippers as a given)?
Should churches charge for entrance?