The name “Palace of Fine Arts” evokes a baroque and classical European building gilded in gold, marble and ivory. So it was with some surprise when it turned out that it is almost a ruin-like monument which has its roots all the way back to the early 1900s. Erected for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, this and several other buildings were meant to showcase San Francisco’s resilience in the wake of the great earthquake in 1906. The palace is located in a very serene area of the Marina District, surrounded by a beautiful lake and greenery. I had wanted to visit during a more dramatic hour, like sunset, but stumbled upon it during my impromptu Marine Drive-SF Bay Trail walk. I enjoyed myself tremendously nevertheless!