San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey

4.6
#7 of 11 in Historic Sites in Monterey County
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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San Carlos Cathedral Reviews
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  • October 2, 2017
    In town for golf. Church Sunday morning with beautiful weather. The 7:30 was crowded but seats available.  more »
  • September 10, 2017
    This active cathedral in Monterey is one of the best mission churches established in 1770 by Fr. J. Serra that I've visited. I especially liked that the current border was one of the previous designs ...  more »
  • August 11, 2017
    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 »
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  • March 21, 2017
    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.
  • June 16, 2017
    Such a lovely church! We attended a wedding here this summer and it was beautiful. Such a historic place and beautiful landscaping!
  • May 9, 2017
    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.
  • April 19, 2017
    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.
  • February 21, 2017
    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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