Alamo Launches 3D Virtual Tour of Renowned Mission-era Church


SAN ANTONIO — The Alamo has launched a virtual 3-D tour of its iconic mid-1700s church, giving online viewers an up-close look at artillery damage, traces of Mission-era frescoes and the other details that visitors often miss when seeing her in person.

“School is back and we’re excited you can now visit the Alamo from any classroom, location, or on any device with an internet connection,” the Alamo Trust announced. as its virtual tour debuted this week.

Pop-outs with text and archival photos explain more than 40 points of interest in front of and inside the church, including markers, historic graffiti and architectural features. The stone church, never fully completed after its original roof collapsed, evolved from a space for worship in the 1700s, then a gun station during the battle of 1836, to a warehouse for the US Army with a second floor added for storage. It was restored in the 20th century by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.


Experts believe they have found the site of the first missionary church at Alamo

“The Alamo’s first-ever 3D virtual tour helps bring the site into the 21st century and reinforces our commitment to making revered grounds as accessible as possible,” said Kate Rogers, executive director of the trust, who manages the state-owned site.

The tour uses professional lighting and 4K resolution scans taken inside and outside the famous building, including two rooms – the Baptistery and the Confessional – which are normally closed to the public. Officials said the online feature, which is free to the public, will be modified, updated and expanded to reflect the changes on the site.

“There is the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Through these more than 100 360-degree image scans, we are trying to convey much of the site’s 300-year history to anyone with an internet connection,” said Jonathan Huhn, spokesperson for Alamo.

Images taken for the tour depict the richly detailed church, initially illuminated, with daylight rising as the virtual traveler approaches the entrance doors. The only people seen are two Alamo Rangers. Viewers can press a “play” button to take a tour, click on specific points and zoom in for details.

The tour provides close-ups of alleged battle damage to the facade from a shotgun blast and cannonball. He offers an explanation of the keystone of the portal, dated 1758, with winged figures and a religious monogram, in the tradition of the Franciscan churches of the time.

Inside, the tour explains how each room was used, including the sacristy, once a chapel for the friars and natives of Mission San Antonio de Valero. It was later a safe haven for women and children during the battle. The visit points to a “cut” in the east wall, where a cannon platform stood in 1836, and grooves in the columns of the nave which supported a second story built by the army after the battle.


The history of the Alamo site dates back approximately 10,000 years

Alex Rivard, director of education for the Alamo, said the tour can be a tool to expose students to details and perspectives they might not see or absorb on a guided tour.

“One of the challenges that we face at the Alamo and that many historic sites face is how to really engage the younger visitors who come to these sites, especially if they don’t have a full understanding and holistic history of the site,” Rivard said. “It allows individual students from their devices in the classroom to explore the Alamo at their own pace and in greater detail.”

A link to the tour is displayed at the bottom of the Alamo home page on A virtual tour is also planned for the Long Barrack, whose west wall is the site’s oldest remaining structure, dating from the 1720s.

The Alamo is undergoing a public-private transformation, at an estimated total cost of $388 million, which includes construction of an exhibit hall and collections building, slated to open early of 2023, and an education center to be built next year. A $140 million museum and visitor center is set to open in March 2026.

Online users can provide feedback on the virtual tour to [email protected]

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