Monday, July 4, 2011

El Presidio

While the Mission was the religious arm of the new settlements and ranchos in California, the Presidio was the military arm (think Sergeant Garcia from the Zorro Television Series).  The Presidio was originally built in 1782. Santa Barbara has reconstructed their Presidio, with only the commandant's home being an original structure and it is a city block away from the main Presidio. We were unable to see the commandant's home as it was under restoration/preservation when we were there.  This Presidio is right in the old town part of Santa Barbara, about a block off of State Street if I recall correctly.
Here we see the main parade ground with the Commandant's offices to the right and the chapel to the left.  Out of the picture are the officer's quarters and other adobes.

Better get a closer look at that GORGEOUS tree.  They had these all over Santa Barbara and I have NO clue what type of tree they were.  But isn't it just exquisite?

While life at the Presidio was probably certainly less centered around religion than at the Mission; religion still played a big role in the everyday lives of the residents of the Presidio.  This is the outside of their chapel.

I thought the reconstructed roofs were interesting.  They had tied long twigs tightly in place with hemp rope and then packed it with mud.

This is the interior of their chapel - very ornate as compared to very plain adobe dwellings for all the other structures.

The Santa Barbara Presidio is part of the California State Park System.

Next up - the Santa Barbara Courthouse and what a surprise it was.


  1. The trees in bloom right now are Jacaranda trees. And they are beautiful.

  2. What a beautiful compound. It's one of those that just shouts history. Make you want to be a time traveler to see it in it's glory days. Gorgeous tree too.