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San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey

4.6
#4 of 7 in Sightseeing in Monterey
Church Landmark
The Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, also known as the Royal Presidio Chapel, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Monterey, California, United States. The cathedral is the oldest continuously operating parish and the oldest stone building in California. It was built in 1794 making it the oldest (and smallest) serving cathedral along with St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the only existing presidio chapel in California and the only existing building in the original Monterey Presidio.Early historyThe church was founded by the Franciscan Saint Junípero Serra as the chapel of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo on June 3, 1770. Father Serra first established the original mission in Monterey at this location on June 3, 1770, near the native village of Tamo. However, Father Serra became engaged in a heated power struggle with Military Governor Pedro Fages, who was headquartered at the Presidio of Monterey and served as governor of Alta California between 1770 and 1774. Serra decided to move the mission away from the Presidio, and in May, 1771, the Spanish viceroy approved Serra's petition to relocate the mission to its current location near the mouth of the Carmel River and the present-day town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
58 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • san carlos cathedral is one of the very old historical places to visit while you are visiting downtown Monterey. gives you the fell of old Monterey. just a short visit is required but well worth it. i...  more »
  • The Cathedral of san carlos Borromeo is the seat of the Diocese of Monterrey, founded by Junípero Serra and one of the oldest in the USA. It is beautifully restored and kept, with some works of art and a magnificent altar. Recommended.
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  • We didn’t attend service but just looked around. It is nicely restored and a shame it had to be restored because of an earthquake. You can still see some of the original work and that is awesome.  more »
Google
  • Amazing church built in the late 1700's. So simple yet so beautiful on the inside. Take the short walk around the outside to see a couple statues. Also right next door is a small two room museum run by a sweet and very knowledgeable woman. The encourage walking around inside and out.
  • Such a lovely church! We attended a wedding here this summer and it was beautiful. Such a historic place and beautiful landscaping!
  • Beautiful little church. As a child, I remember attending mass, which I hated, and thinking about how scary Jesus looked on the cross. I also really thought that his tomb was there. I can't wait to see it again.
  • A beautiful church. As soon as you walk in, you feel peace. Hope they keep it it the way it is. The Holy Spirit is in there.
  • A small but beautiful cathedral. Very well renovated to give you more modern comfort, but still retains the decor of it's long history. Convenient Mass times and always a steady flow of visitors.

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