Roma, a former Spanish colony founded on a bluff high above the Rio Grande River, hosts an amazing nine-square block area around its plaza that encompasses more than 30 structures built before 1900. Roma's National Historic Landmark District, designated in 1993, includes the Customs House where shippers and brokers paid fees for imported goods delivered by the steamboats plying the riverway; the striking Leocadia Garcia house, built in 1840, which once served as home, general store, and dance hall; and the Manuel Guerra residence and store, a two-story structure of 1884 with its original ornamental wrought-iron balcony intact. All are remarkable works of restoration that Roma citizens should be proud to call their own. Many of these buildings were designed by German architect Heinrich Portscheller during the 1880s. Today, Roma struggles with many of the same border issues shared by its Rio Grande Valley neighbors. But a 300-year history suggests that Roma, more than anything else, is a survivor. And with its Spanish colonial past, European influences, and Lone Star style, Roma is a Texas town with a decidedly international flavor.
Watch the video below to learn more about the cultural corridor that lines the Texas and Mexico border. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage
For historic walking tour brochures and other visitor information, make your first stop the Roma Bluffs World Birding Center in the historic district. Call ahead to schedule a Saturday guided tour of downtown and to plan your birding adventure.