BONN, Germany - The San Antonio Missions in Texas have been awarded world heritage status by the U.N.'s cultural body.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee approved the listing Sunday of the five Spanish Roman Catholic sites built in the 18th century in and around what is now the city of San Antonio.
Spain used the missions to convert indigenous people to Catholicism and make them Spanish subjects. The best known of the missions is The Alamo, site of the 1836 battle. Many credit the brutal defeat of the defenders of The Alamo -- all were slaughtered by the infamous Mexican General Santa Anna -- as inspiring people in Texas to join the uprising and crush the Mexican army a little more than a month later.
The missions were the only site in the United States proposed for world heritage status at this year's UNESCO meeting in Bonn, Germany.
More than a dozen other sites have also been granted world heritage status in recent days, including Singapore's Botanical Gardens, the Diyarbakir Fortress in Turkey and France's champagne industry region.