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.Use our Monterey trip planner to visit San Carlos Cathedral on your trip to Monterey, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
The 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.
San Carlos Cathedral reviews
Quaint little cathedral. Very well maintained. Just beautiful. Simplicity & serenity- 💒. Beautiful succulents. more »
We spent the day in Monterey and drove to the cathedral as our last stop before driving home. There were lots of street parking or it could be an easy walk from downtown. Unfortunately the... more »
We were married here 15 years ago and we picked this church as it was where my parents attended when my dad was stationed at Fort Ord. The food bank is a wonderful asset to the community and the ladies there seemed so kind and caring to those who were in need.
This is such an amazing church that fills you with love of God and all his children.
Plan your trip to Monterey
Get a personalized tripA complete day by day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Monterey
Side trips from Monterey
Hidden gems in Monterey
Museums in Monterey
Nearby attractions in Monterey
Trips to San Carlos Cathedral by other users
40 days in United States BY A USER FROM ISRAEL Los Angeles Las Vegas Tusayan 18 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM San Francisco Yosemite National Park Monterey 15 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Crescent City Monterey San Simeon 24 days in San Francisco Bay Area BY A USER FROM DENMARK Monterey San Francisco Point Reyes National Seashore 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES New Orleans San Diego Los Angeles 8 days in California's Central Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Monterey San Simeon Santa Maria