Not only is it the most famous of San Antonio's five missions, it is the most visited attraction in Texas, attracting 2.5 million people annually.

the Alamo is a must-see, but don't expect anything dramatic at first glance

sitting in the heart of a touristy plaza, the site looks surprisingly small.

you'll immediately recognize the striking Mission Church where, for 13 days in March 1836

volunteers repulsed the much larger army of Mexican dictator Santa Anna

Eventually all the men were killed, including pioneers Davy Crockett, William Travis and Jim Bowie

but a month later Sam Houston's cry of "Remember the Alamo!

Using their deaths to rally his troops and defeat the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto, thus securing Texas independence