Take a tour of the Spanish Governor’s Palace, a National Historical Landmark constructed in the early to mid 1700s. The structure, restored in the 1930s, now has ten rooms with antique period pieces and beautifully landscaped courtyards.
The Legend of the Doors
The doors were carved in 1930 by Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel (1883-1940), who later also carved the huge front doors at Mission San José.
Beginning at the top of the right-hand door and reading downward, the three seashells represent the three ships that crossed the ocean facing many dangers (represented by the dragons) in search of the infant country (baby face) we now call America. They brought their arms and shields for protection and found a land of flowers and resources such as gold, silver, and spices.
They also found the Maya, Inca, and Aztec Empires (Native American face).
Moving to the bottom of the left-hand door and reading upward, we see the Spanish conquistadores who came to this land of paradise. With their weapons and shields they conquered all the dangers (dragons), including the many Indian tribes (medicine man mask), and returned to their homeland across the ocean (seashells).
Spanish Governor's Palace Tour