The name makes it sound like a mansion, so you may be surprised when you see this one-story adobe barracks. It’s impressive nonetheless, one of the oldest, best-preserved residential buildings in Texas—thus its National Historic Landmark status. It was built as a one-room house in 1722 and, in 1749, three other rooms were added (along with the insignia of Spanish King Ferdinand VI; the date is shown on one of the doorways,). The house served as the headquarters and residence for the captain of the Spanish garrison and was the capital of the Spanish province of Texas from 1772 to 1821, when Mexico gained its independence. San Antonio’s last captain, Juan Ignacio Pérez, and his descendants remained in the house until the 1860s. The house lived many lives—from a saloon to a pawn shop to a tailor’s shop—until the city purchased it in 1928. Today its rooms are filled with period furnishings. Like most Spanish-style dwellings of its time, the house has a shaded garden and a patio with a stone fountain and mosaic flooring.