A few blocks away from the San Antonio Riverwalk is an unassuming little building known as the Spanish Governor's Palace.
According to its website:
"The Spanish Governor’s Palace was constructed in the early 18th century and restored in the 1930s. This National Historic Landmark represents the last visual remnants of the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar. The Presidio was established as the result of a rivalry between Spain and France in the early 1700s for dominance of the territory that is now a part of the southwestern United States. To protect his claim against French encroachment, King Philip V of Spain ordered the governor of Coahuila and Texas, Don Martín de Alarcón, to build a mission and presidio at the headwaters of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek. On May 5, 1718, Alarcón established the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar to protect the newly established Mission San Antonio de Valero (later known as the Alamo)."
Before its restoration in 1930 it was apparently used as a pawn shop, saloon, and a tire shop, among other things.
During the week, while Clay was busy at his meetings, the kids and I slipped away from our hotel & the riverwalk to explore this bit of history. We paid the small fee to get in and then had the place to ourselves. The children played that they were spanish royalty while I read the placards and reveled in the charming beauty of the place.
I loved the clean, simple lines, the splashes of color against the white & the ornate wood decor.
The courtyard was our favorite spot.
....I am in love with that bench.
(And the little girl sitting on it.)
On the way to the "Palace", we also encountered the San Fernando Cathedral.
"...founded in 1731...is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas. The Cathedral building has the added distinction of being the oldest standing church building in Texas."
A morning well spent, I think!