Market Square, or El Mercado, is patterned after an authentic Mexican market. Three markets make the Market Square: Farmers Market, El Mercado, and Produce Row. El Mercado is the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico. With a wide variety of dining, shopping, and events, this market combined with the surrounding markets.
From early morning until late at night, visitors browse through the 32 shops. In addition, there are 80 specialty shops in Farmers Market Plaza. Market Square is also the scene of many Hispanic festivals where food and beverage booths spring up alongside the Guadalajara lamps and the strains of mariachi music blend with the excitement of Mexican dances. Free admission.
Millions of visitors come to Market Square each year. It is yesterday revisiting today, with a future that remains bright. Market Square plays an important role in the uniqueness of San Antonio.
History of San Antonio's Market Square
Late in the 19th century European immigrants from Germany and France moved into the area, becoming San Antonio's business leaders, bankers, educators, and craftsmen. The cultural mix that occurred at this time can best be illustrated by the variety of architectural styles reflected in La Villita's evolution of buildings from palisado to Victorian Houses.
Market Square Historic Photo
San Antonio's Market Square is a perfect example of preserving the past for present and future generations to enjoy and appreciate. There is much history here. As early as 1805, San Antonio had a public market. It was in this year that Antonio Cordero y Bustamante, Governor of the Spanish Province of Texas, ordered the construction of a permanent market for the slaughtering and sale of livestock. The market was built, but was by no means permanent. As a matter of record, San Antonio has had numerous market areas, the last of which is the current Market Square.
The 1830's brought with them an informal market on Plaza de Armas. This area was later simply called Military Plaza and is the current location of City Hall. In its day, the market served as the town square and meeting place for merchants, craftsmen, promoters, and musicians. This market area flourished until 1889.
Four years after the fall of the Alamo and the subsequent victory by Sam Houston and his men over Santa Ana and his Mexican troops at San Jacinto, San Antonio had still another official market. In 1840, the City Council passed an ordinance establishing the first City Market House. The decree mandated that a long, low building of stone on the north side of Plaza de Armas be utilized for this market. The building was believed to have been the last remaining portion of the original Spanish Presidio.
The official founding of what we now call Market Square occurred in 1892 as Presidio Square. This new marketplace was further developed with the construction, in 1899, of a Victorian style new City Market House designed by Alfred Giles. It stood as the premier market for San Antonio until 1938 when it was replaced by the building that we now know as El Mercado. The present Mercado was built with federal funds and remodeled in an urban renewal sponsored project in 1976.
San Antonio Market Square Events
Visitors also come to celebrate during special occasions like Fiesta in April, Cinco de Mayo in May, a Forth of July celebration with a unique style in July, Diez y Seis in September, a Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead presentation in November, and Fiestas Navidenas in December. In addition, it seems there is a celebration every weekend. Market Square is a world of beauty, charm and historical elegance.
Hotel near San Antonio Market Square offers Complimentary Limo Service to Guests
Historic Fairmount Hotel
If you are searching for a luxury hotel near Market Square, consider The Fairmount Hotel. The Fairmount was built in 1906 and recently given a complete renovation to restore its classical Victorian elegance. The history of this San Antonio TX hotel, its romantic ambiance and convenient downtown location make The Fairmount Hotel the perfect lodging choice for anyone visiting San Antonio, whether for leisure or business travel.