Bob took the afternoon off work. Our first stop was the nicer of the two buildings we saw today. For lunch, the Guenther House was our destination at the old Pioneer Flour Mill. We had the choice of eating outside on their covered, fan-cooled, misted patio or inside the cool basement of the house. The temperature outside was in the high 90s so we opted for inside.
The downstairs Guenther House restaurant is in the Art Nouveau style of the 1920s, characterized by the use of stained glass, symmetrical lines and an extensive plant motif. The house was constructed between 1915 and 1918.
I loved their lamps. Here is a description of these lamps from The Guenther House website:
"One of the Restaurant’s most unique features is the light fixtures cast of solid copper. Chinese dragons with lily pads and lotus blossoms form the sconces and reflect motifs Erhard encountered on his trip through China. The bowls of these fixtures are alabaster."
|Lamps are from China. I don't know the |
significance of the geese from which the
lamp chains hang.
|Close-up of "dragon" on the lamp|
|Wall lamp - same type of dragon|
with lotus blossom
|Inside seating at The Guenther House|
|Stained glass windows|
In 1859, he moved one mile south of San Antonio, Texas, and built a mill on the San Antonio River. In 1898 the milling business was incorporated under the name C. H. Guenther and Son, Inc., using the trade name Pioneer Flour Mills.
|San Antonio River at Guenther House|
For dessert we ordered a tart cherry strudel and peach strudel to go. When I checked our "to go" dessert order, we had a peach and an apple strudel. I mentioned to the waiter that we ordered a cherry strudel, not apple. He went back to the bakery and the bakery manager came out personally with our revised order. She apologized and told us that instead of trying to take out the apple strudel and having it break up, she was giving us the cherry strudel too. So we ended up with three strudels to go. We enjoyed those later in the day.
After lunch we drove into downtown San Antonio to tour the Spanish Governor's Palace, which was not a palace and never had a "governor" live in it. Really? Sounds like false advertising to me.
Regular admission is $5 and seniors are $3. We paid and went in. The name of this National Historic Landmark, Presidio San Antonio de Bejar, is traditionally known as the Spanish Governor's Palace. From 1722 until early in the 1800s, this was the original office and residence for Spanish captains of the military garrison.
The Presidio was built because of the rivalry between Spain and France for dominance of the territory which is now a part of the southwestern United States. King Phillip V of Spain, to protect a claim against French encroachment, ordered the governor of Coahuila and Texas to build a mission and presidio at the headwaters of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek. Here are photos of our visit to the Spanish Governor's Palace.
|Spanish Governor's Palace|
|Trying to wrest the sword from a Conquistador|
(a gift from Spain in 1977)
|Bob in living room|
|An old Spanish chest|
|Old Spanish chest|
|Original, old locking desk|
|Baron Von Trapp of Austria and his family visited here|
when they were doing a concert in San Antonio.
|Cochina de carbon|
|Courtyard in back of the "palace"|
|My new hair color...just call me "Blondie."|
|Courtyard behind Spanish Governor's Palace|
|Mosaic pathways in courtyard garden|
|Another courtyard with fountain|
|Us at entry to Spanish Governor's Palace|
|Bob in front of door filled with symbolism|
At the end of our visit to the Spanish Governor's Palace, we walked around the corner and into Marti's, a unique boutique full of jewelry, clothing, clay pots, and other other fun stuff. From Marti's, we headed back to the fifth wheel for dinner and strudel.
Thanks, Bob, for taking time off work to go touring around San Antonio. Let's do it again next week! There's still so much to discover in San Antonio, even if it's not super duper exciting.