El Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara, also known as the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara, is a former military installation in Santa Barbara, California, USA. The presidio was built by Spain in 1782, with the mission of defending the Second Military District in California. In modern times, the Presidio serves as a significant tourist attraction, museum and an active archaeological site as part of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.
The park contains an original adobe structure called El Cuartel, which is the second oldest surviving building in California; only the chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, known as “Father Serra’s Church”, is older. The Presidio of Santa Barbara has the distinction of being the last military outpost built by Spain in the New World. The Presidio became a California Historical Landmark in 1958 and was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
In 1963, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) was founded, with the primary mission of restoring the Presidio. In 1966, the land on which the Presidio is located became a State Historic Park. On December 27, 2006, the SBTHP renewed their ongoing agreement with the California State Parks Department to manage the Presidio. Work on the restoration is currently taking place. On November 26, 1973 the Presidio of Santa Barbara was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.