You are here

San Fernando Cathedral

-A A +A
1749; c. 1873 facade and nave, François P. Giraud; 1977 restoration, Ford, Powell and Carson; 2003 interior restoration, Fisher Heck Architects. 114 Main Plaza
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

The apse and low dome at the core of the cathedral are the remnants of the original parish church built by Canary Islanders, and are visible at the rear of the enlarged building. The cathedral as it appears today is largely a product of the 1870s, the work of Giraud, who was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served as San Antonio's first city surveyor in the 1840s, but did not seem to consider himself limited to that profession. As the seat of an archbishop, the cathedral is perhaps not as large as expected given the dominance of the Catholic Church in the city. The eighteenth-century core of the interior has been restored to its original mission-like simplicity, with plain whitewashed walls that are an austere interior in contrast to the lively facade.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "San Fernando Cathedral", [San Antonio, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 157-157.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.