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Alamo Makes UNESCO's 2015 World Heritage List

Visitors walk at the entrance to the Alamo, the most-visited tourist site in the state, in San Antonio, Texas, March 2, 2015.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Committee has added 27 properties to its World Heritage List for 2015, including the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

The UNESCO panel bestowed the coveted designation to recognize their global significance and to help in preservation.

The Alamo is part of the five San Antonio Missions added to the list. They were established by Catholic religious orders in the 18th century to spread Christianity among the locals.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell applauded the decision. She said the missions “interweave Spanish and indigenous cultures that are a vital part of America’s heritage."

They join a list of more than 1,000 sites in more than 160 countries that include cultural and natural sites of universal importance from the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Stonehenge in England.

The five missions in Texas are: San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, Nuestra Señora de La Purisima Conception de Acuña, San Francisco de La Espada, and San Juan Capistrano. They are the first World Heritage sites in the state of Texas and the 23rd designated in the United States.