[Graphic] Discover our Shared Heritage Early History of the California coast A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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[photo] Ruins of the San Diego Presidio
Photo from National Historic Landmarks collection

The Spanish presidio of San Diego was established on Presidio Hill July 1, 1769, the day Governor Don Gaspar de Portola claimed "Alta California" as a territory of Spain. The presidio was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast. It was also the base of operations for the Spanish colonization of California, achieved through the development of missions and presidios. The presidio served as the base for exploration throughout California's interior and it remained the seat of military power in California through the Mexican period. Originally constructed of wood, the presidio was reconstructed of adobe in 1778. When news of Mexico's independence from Spain reached California in 1822, the Mexican army took possession of the San Diego Presidio. From 1825-1829 it served as the Mexican Governor's residence. After the Pueblo de San Diego was founded in 1835, the presidio buildings fell into ruin. In 1929 a park was established at the site. The Serra Museum, adjacent the park, houses a collection of archeological artifacts related to the history of Spanish California.

The San Diego Presidio, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Presidio Park, 2811 Jackson St. in San Diego. The park is open daily 6:00am to 10:00pm, call 619-685-1300 for further information or visit the San Diego Park and Recreation website. You may also be interested in visiting the adjacent Serra Museum.

 

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