The "Oldest Town in Texas" is named for the Caddo tribe that once lived in the area. It remained a Caddo settlement until 1716 when Spain established a mission here. In 1779, it received a designation from Spain as a "pueblo," or town, and Antonio Gil Y'Barbo, a prominent Spanish trader, was named Lt. Governor. Y'Barbo laid out the streets of present-day downtown with the intersection of El Camino Real and La Calle del Norte as the central point. For more than 100 years, Nacogdoches was the major eastern gateway to Texas. The town offers insight into the fight for Texas independence. While six flags have flown over Texas, nine flags, including those of three abortive republics, flew over Nacogdoches. Numerous landmarks and museums pay tribute to the town's historic past, which make it a popular tourist destination today. The city also is home to Stephen F. Austin State University.
Annual events include the Azalea Trail, Texas Blueberry Festival, Freedom Fest and Nine Flags Festival.