Goliad , one of the region's outstanding historic sites, preserves more than 250 years of Texas heritage. The city is the third oldest municipality in the state and a place forever remembered in the pages of Texas history. The town was first named Santa Dorotea by the Spaniards in the 18th century and then named La Bahia when the Presidio La Bahia and Mission Espiritu Santo were located here by the Spaniards in 1749. The name Goliad was officially adopted in 1829.
“Goliad” is a phonetic anagram of Hidalgo, the Spanish priest who became a hero during the Mexican Revolution.
The first offensive action of the Texas Revolution occurred in Goliad on October 9, 1835 when local colonists captured the fort and town; thereafter on December 20, 1835, the first Declaration of Texas Independence was signed in Goliad and the first flag of Texas (the “Bloody Arm Flag”) was raised for all to see. Today, the Mission Espiritu Santo and the Presidio La Bahia together are the only Spanish colonial fort/museum complexes left standing in the Western hemisphere. In 1836 the Goliad massacre, the largest single loss of life in the cause of Texas independence, in part inspired the rousing battle-cry “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” at the Battle of San Jacinto.
The 178-acre Goliad State Historical Park maintains the 1749 reconstructed mission Espiritu Santo and, as an interpreted
archeological site, the ruins of Mission Nuestra Señora del Rosario, just west of town. The walled bastion Presidio La Bahia, a national historic landmark operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, stands across the San Antonio River. Preserved in the shadow of La Bahia is the birthplace of General Ignacio Zaragoza who helped Mexico defeat Napoleon's French army in 1862 at Puebla, Mexico. Together, this complex from the mid-1700s represents one of North
America's few surviving examples of a Spanish colonial crown and church community.
The city of Goliad was one of the smallest towns ever to be chosen for the Main Street Program. The beautifully restored buildings of the town square surround its 1894 courthouse with elegance and majesty. In addition to history, Goliad and Goliad County offer many advantages to tourist and sportsmen in outdoor and recreational activities. Hunters
can take advantage of the finest in deer, quail and dove hunting in season. Fisherman will be at home in nearby lakes as well as the San Antonio River. Fishing, boating, camping and water skiing can be enjoyed at nearby Coleto Creek reservoir, which is operated by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Goliad State Park offers year-round picnicking, hiking, camping, historic and nature studies.
From the 1700's during the Spanish missionary times as they tried to Christianize the Indians to the time when the famous Mexican National hero Ignacio Zaragoza was born during Spanish colonial times. . . to the saddest pages in Texas history . . the Texas Revolution, when Colonel James Walker Fannin and 342 of his men were massacred under direct orders of Santa Anna . . and on to the time of settling this wild and raucous frontier. The town of Goliad and its historical sites so precious to Texas history are awaiting you. Visit Goliad and experience the feeling first hand.
Goliad, a place to be remembered.