The Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey, also known as the Royal Presidio Chapel and the San Carlos Cathedral, was founded by Father Junipero Serra on June 3, 1770 on the shores of Monterey Bay, as the cornerstone of his Mission. A year later, Fr. Serra moved the Mission to Carmel. The church remained as a Royal Chapel for the soldiers guarding the new Spanish Presidio of Monterey. The present sandstone church was completed in 1794.
The significance of San Carlos cannot be overstated. It is the oldest continuously functioning church and the first stone building in the State of California. It is California's first cathedral and stands for the birth of Carmel Mission and Monterey, the first capital of California.
The National Historic Landmark and cornerstone of Monterey is adjacent to Lake El Estero and within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf. Visitors and pilgrims from around the world visit the Royal Chapel, which stands as a legacy of faith and a living chronicle to our local, state and national history.
San Carlos Cathedral continues to serve as a parish church for the Catholic community on the Monterey Peninsula, fostering a vibrant community of faith. We welcome all to worship here at our daily and weekend Masses.