Sacred Heart Catholic Church + Galveston, TX History
History of Galveston
Many people going on a Galveston, TX. vacation might be interested in learning a bit of the history of Galveston. They also might like knowing a bit more about the dazzling white Moorish designed Sacred Heart Church which can hardly escape notice if they are driving into town on the main street of Broadway. That Catholic Church inspired another linocut of mine that will be pictured in this article.
It sits directly across the street from the Bishop’s Palace, one of many historic buildings in the City of Galveston.
Where cities, towns, counties, provinces and the like get their names is always of interest.
Galveston, Texas and Galveston Bay and even the Hotel Galvez on Galveston Island all were named after a very interesting and influential man with regard to lands and territories in the early days prior to even being a part of the United States of America.
Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid
Also known as the Count of Gálvez, this man played an important role in aiding the thirteen original colonies of the United States in fighting against Great Britain while trying to gain independence in the Revolutionary War.
Spain and Great Britain were hardly allies back during those times!
Bernardo de Gálvez was a general of the Spanish military forces in what at the time was called New Spain. Under his guidance Florida was recaptured for Spain from the English.
What was New Spain you might be thinking?
Spain conquered the Aztec Empire way back in 1521 and what became known as New Spain was a huge territory covering most of what is now the United States west of the Mississippi River and south of Canada.It also included most of the Spanish East Indies ( which includes the Philippine Islands and others) and the Spanish West Indies ( islands like Cuba and Puerto Rico…to mention just a couple.) Covering even more land (except for Panama) all of Mexico and Central America were a part of this vast new empire called New Spain with its capitol city being located in Mexico City.
Besides being a military leader, the Count of Gálvez also served as governor of Cuba, governor of Louisiana and as a viceroy of New Spain at different times of his life.
Thus this man had a most influential impact upon lands long before they were even a part of what is now the United States of America.
Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid accomplished much in his short lifetime of 40 years and has many places named after him in addition to those in Texas.
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence took place in the years from 1810 to 1821 when they finally succeeded in forming an independent nation free from Spanish dominance and rule.
At that time, what is now called Texas (as well as other lands) were a part of Mexico.
Republic of Texas and moving forward…Then along came the Texas Revolution!
Nervous residents became upset with then President of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna who trashed the existing constitution of 1824 and usurped too much power.
The Independent Nation (Republic of Texas) became separated from Mexico and was in effect from the years 1836 to when it was annexed with the affirmative votes of the residents to become a part of the United States in 1845.
At that time Texas shrunk in size giving over lands that became a part of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming back to the U.S. government.
City of GalvestonThe City of Galveston adopted its charter in the year 1839 and was accepted as a part of the Republic of Texas.
During the Civil War, several battles were held in Galveston. In 1862 Union naval forces tried to blockade Galveston and failed. During the second Battle of Galveston which took place in 1863, Confederate forces succeeded in kicking Union troops off of the Island.
In the 1890’s coastal artillery batteries which can still be seen today were erected in Galveston.
By the 19th century, Galveston had become a thriving city with a busy seaport.
Today Galveston still offers jobs and opportunities due to its shipping, large health care industry as well as a thriving financial services industry.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Now that you know a bit more about Galveston history perhaps you would like to learn something about this Moorish structure of distinctive beauty gracing this charming city?
This is the second reincarnation of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church which sits on this site. The first one built in 1884 was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1900 which took thousands of lives and devastated Galveston.
Sacred Heart was rebuilt in 1904 and the Onion Dome was added in 1912 with architect Nicolas Clayton’s design modeled after the Grand Synagogue of Toledo, Spain.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church stands in stark contrast to most of the other buildings which are situated on the Island of Galveston. Many of the homes are of Victorian design and others include Gothic and other elements.
For those people who just want to get a quick peek at other Galveston attractions while they plan a Galveston vacation…take a look at the video below. It shows Galveston featuring some of the different sites.
By no means does the video portray all that there is to do and see…but it shares a little more information about this fascinating city located on the Gulf of Mexico.
And of course…there is the water and beaches! They offer great enticements to most people when they think of a Galveston vacation! Check out my other Galveston posts to see more of what there is to explore on Galveston Island.
These include the following:
If you wish to learn more about some of the other Galveston churches, click on these links: