Jim Mery - Interim Director
National Historic Landmark represents the last visual vestiges
of the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar. The Spanish Governor’s
Palace, constructed at this location in the early 18th century
and restored in the 1930’s, is furnished with Spanish Colonial
period pieces and features a beautiful, hand-carved wooden door
at the entrance.
The keystone above the front entrance is marked with the coat-of-arms of Spanish King Ferdinand VI and the inscription ‘año 1749 se acabo’ suggesting construction of the Presidio was completed in 1749.
Traditionally known as the Spanish Governor’s Palace, this building was the original Commandancia (residence and working office) for the Captain of the Presidio. After the threat of French encroachment in East Texas was gone, King Carlos III appointed the Marquis de Rubí inspector of frontier presidios. Rubí’s inspection resulted in the Royal Regulations of 1772 that ordered the capital of Spanish Texas be moved from the Presidio at Los Adaes, east of Nacogdoches, Texas, to the Presidio de San Antonio de Béjar. Rubí’s orders also stipulated that the captain of the presidio at Béjar serve as Governor of Texas.
By the time Spain lost control of Mexico and Texas in 1821, the Presidio had ceased to function as a military post. However its owner and former captain Ignacio Perez and his descendants continued to use the building as a residence through the mid-1800s. The building’s function changed from residential to commercial in the mid-1870s and through the 1920s it housed a variety of businesses including a pawn shop, a wholesale produce store, saloons, and a clothing store.
The City of San Antonio purchased the property in 1928 and completed the restoration between 1929 and 1930. Currently maintained by the Downtown Operations Department of the City of San Antonio, the building serves as a museum and the beautiful courtyards can be reserved for special occasions.
We invite you to learn why the National Geographic Society has called the landmark "the most beautiful building in San Antonio".