Architectural, Cultural sights in The Peninsula
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The billboards up and down every highway in California may have triggered your tourist-trap alarm, but Winchester Mystery House is a bona fide curiosity. It's a ridiculous Victorian mansion with 160 rooms of various sizes (many of them utterly useless), dead-end hallways and a staircase that runs up to a ceiling all jammed together like a child's build-a-house game.
The woman responsible for it is Sarah Winchester, heir of the Winchester rifle fortune, who, beginning in 1884, spent 38 years building this sprawling mansion because the spirits of those killed by her husband's guns told her to do so. Apparently no expense was spared in the construction and the extreme…
Peralta Adobe & Fallon House are historic San Jose houses that represent two very different early architectural styles, sitting across the road from each other near San Pedro Sq. To see the houses, drop by the visitors center.
The Peralta Adobe, the city's oldest building, dates from 1797 and is the last survivor from the original Spanish pueblo. The building is very basic, and the two rooms have been furnished as they might have been during their occupation by the Gonzales and Peralta families. Luis Maria Peralta came to the Bay Area at age 16 and died an American citizen and a millionaire, the owner of a large chunk of the East Bay.
Thomas Fallon married the daughter of…