Presidio La Bahia

Coastal Plains

Established by the Spanish in 1749 – to deter the French, then sniffing around the northeastern edges of their empire – Presidio La Bahia played a role in six revolutions and wars, and served under nine different flags (including the bloody-arm Goliad flag, an early symbol of independent Texas). Texas revolutionaries seized the fort – now faithfully restored – in October 1835, and renamed it 'Fort Defiance' during their occupation.

The following year, after surrendering at a site now known as the Fannin Battleground, Colonel Fannin and his men were held by the Mexican forces inside the walls for two weeks before their execution (now marked by the Fannin Memorial Monument nearby). Along with Mission Espíritu Santo at Goliad State Park, this is the only surviving example in Texas of the once-common Spanish Colonial mission/presidio complex, and one of very few left in North America.