Since its debut in June 2014, the short film “San Antonio | The Saga” has been one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Plenty of locals love it, too.
“San Antonio | The Saga” is a 24-minute short film and light show that takes viewers through 300 years of fascinating San Antonio, Texas, and United States history.
Created by internationally renowned artist Xavier de Richemont, the film is projected onto the side of San Fernando Cathedral, which is the oldest operating sanctuary in North America and located in San Antonio’s Main Plaza. It takes up 7,000 square feet when displayed.
“San Antonio | The Saga” features an array of images, including falling rain, the cave paintings of the area’s indigenous ancestors, and essential historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. All of the images are shown alongside a gripping soundtrack, which transitions seamlessly from thunderclaps and guitar twangs to church hymns and Spanish flamenco music.
The film has been described by natives as a “feel-good video” that shows the people of San Antonio “what [they’ve] been a part of” and reminds them that they’re “part of a larger community.”
Xavier de Richemont, the creator of the project, was born in Algeria, France. He has spent over 20 years creating video installations throughout the world, including the first festival of lights, which he designed in Chartres, France, in 2002. In 2010, he also received an invitation from Mexico’s government to showcase his work on the bicentenary of the country’s independence.
Those who want to see a snippet of San Antonio can do so through the following video. They can also check it out for themselves the next time they’re in the area. The show is always free and open to the public (Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 9:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. through 2024).