Presidio of Monterey

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The Presidio of Monterey is actually the story of two different physical locations and several different fortifications. The first physical location is the location of the Spanish Royal Presidio in present day Monterey. The second location is on Presidio Hill overlooking the Monterey Harbor.

The Royal Presidio location was almost at sea level along an estuary now known as El Estero. The Presidio was roughly bounded by present day Fremont Street, Camino El Estero Street, Webster Street and Abrego Street. The only remaining structure is the 1794 Royal Presidio Chapel now known as San Carlos Cathedral.

The second location is on Presidio Hill above Monterey Harbor now known as the U.S. Army's Presidio of Monterey. This area rises from sea level to about 600' and commands the Monterey Harbor. The Spanish first built a redoubt here called El Castillo de Monterey on a level plain at about the 80' level in 1792. When the U.S. took control of California, this was replaced by Fort Mervine on a higher level and then by a succession of other named posts until 1904 when the whole U.S. military reservation on Presidio Hill was named the Presidio of Monterey. This is an active U.S. Military Installation.

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