Presidio of Monterey

Historically, a presidio is a Spanish fort or military base in areas under the Spanish crown's control. The fortified base would defend against pirates and other invading forces and were, in many North American provinces, taken over by the Mexican government until they were finally relinquished to the American government. The Presidio of Monterey is one such Spanish fort and the last remaining California presidio to maintain a military installation, today housing the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Only minutes from the beautiful Monterey Bay, the Presidio is an incredible learning destination for groups of all ages. Visit the Presidio Historic Park and the Presidio of Monterey Museum to explore the stages and evolution of military influence in Monterey, the Spanish and Mexican occupancy, and more. Learn about Saint Junipero Serra's influence and the early mission church he established within the presidio, Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, otherwise known as the Royal Presidio Chapel.

Perfect for an afternoon's touring, the Presidio of Monterey offers a look into an important slice of history into a time before California was American, when the West was not yet won.


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