El Presidio de Santa Barbara

Founded on April 21, 1782, the Santa Barbara Presidio was the second last of five Spanish military establishments built in California (Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sonoma).

A presidio is a fortress established in the southwestern United States by the Spanish in order to protect their missions and other holdings.1 This particular presidio was responsible for protecting La Purisima, Santa Ynes, Santa Barbara, San Buenaventura, and the San Fernando Missions.

The walls of the Presidio were built using sun-dried adobe bricks on a foundation of sandstone. Many were cracked over the centuries as Santa Barbara experienced earthquakes.

The Presido Chapel, a recreation of the 18th century original, can still be reserved for weddings and special events.

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