EL PRESIDIO REAL DE SANTA BARBARA

We got off at the downtown trolley stop mainly to see the Presidio.  Like many historic building in cities (think Alamo), you are walking down a street lined with shops and restaurants and then suddenly – there’s a building out of the 1700s. In fact, to visit the entire site, you need to cross two busy streets – a juxtaposition of old and new.

The Presidio was a military installation built by Spain back in 1782 and is, in fact, the last military post built by the Spaniards in what is now known as the United States. One of the buildings in the complex is the second oldest building in California.

The site has museum exhibits and archeological digs, plus several buildings. Ironically, the Presidio was not attacked (at least not in any major military effort) during its sixty years of existence, but was damaged by earthquakes which ruined much of the original structures.

Interesting stop – especially if you’re interested in Spanish/American history.

We then headed back to the main street and our trolley stop. While waiting, we grabbed a drink from Starbucks and then sat outside at one of the tables, taking in the sights and sounds of Santa Barbara.

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