A room in The Presidio of Santa Barbara

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

El Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara, also known as the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara, is a former military installation in Santa Barbara, California, USA. The presidio was built by Spain in 1782, with the mission of defending the Second Military District in California. In modern times, the Presidio serves as a significant tourist attraction, museum and an active archaeological site as part of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.

The park contains an original adobe structure called El Cuartel, which is the second oldest surviving building in California; only the chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, known as “Father Serra’s Church”, is older. The Presidio of Santa Barbara has the distinction of being the last military outpost built by Spain in the New World. The Presidio became a California Historical Landmark in 1958 and was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

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