"Old Town San Diego State Historic Park" Old Town San Diego State Historical Park by lmkluque
Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Travel Guide: 61 reviews and 160 photos
Welcome to my Old Town State Historical Park page,
Old Town is a community of the city of San Diego and there is a page for Old Town San Diego which I am in the process of building. There also is this page; Old Town San Diego State Historical Park. This state park is the hub of "Old Town," and the importance of this section of our city is the historical events that took place here.
On this page I will tell you about The Presidio, San Diego Mission de Alcala, Old Town and the newest effort to preserve the history of San Diego, Heritage Park, where you can see some of the older homes and buildings that were saved from demolition. Great effort was made to collect enough money to have these graceful structures moved up the hill, a block east of Old Town.
Today, visitors flock here and what they see, happens to be mostly a recreation of an old town.
The quaint adobe buildings are filled with shops, selling items that tourists like to buy, or restaurants and bars, to provide refreshment for travelers as well as the residents, and of course there are plenty hotels to choose from.
There are some sites of historical significence, the old court house, the first newspaper office are just a few to see as you wander past the town square. Oh, don't forget, there is a real ghost house to tour.
In 1857 Alonzo Horton--remember Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego?--came into town and with great insight, began to build up the area south of Old Town, near the bay. This area is known today as downtown San Diego. It was the 1872 fire, which burned down most of the buildings in Old Town, that caused the big move to the bay area.
I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.
I hope you enjoy your visit,
It all started one day in1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portugese explorer sailing under the flag of Spain, leaves Navidad, Mexico.
On September 28th, after three months of sailing, he enters into the Bay of San Diego--wasn't called San Diego then--Cabrillo named it San Miguel. If interested, you can read more about Cabrillo on my Cabrillo National Monument page
Sixty years later, in 1602 Spain sends out another expedition and the leader was Sebastian Vizcaino, who changed our name to San Diego de Alcala.
During the next 167 years Spain's interests in this area were protected by the brave souls who manned the Presidio in this far away, isolated land.
Naturally, those brave souls were not always so kind to the people who lived here originally. It seems that throughout all history, one man's sense of superiority over another man can be found in every society, even here in the peaceful little town of San Diego de Alcala.
The Presidio was built on a hill which would overlook the town once it was built. In July of 1769 the first permanent Spanish settlement at the Presidio--also know as Plymouth Rock West--was established and 16 July, was the date celebrated as the birthday of San Diego.
Each year there is a re-enactment at the Presidio that shows the relationship between the soldiers, the priests and the Indians who were being converted.
If you happen to be in San Diego on a day that doesn't celebrate this re-enactment, visit the Presidio anyway, it's quite interesting to see.
(Not Monday. It's closed on Mondays.)
The Roman Catholic Church's interests were protected by an adventurous Franciscan named Junipero Serra who has been credited with establishing twenty-one Franciscan Missions along the coast of California. San Diego Mission de Alcala was the first.
In 1775 the Mission was move about six miles up the San Diego River Valley where it still stands as a witness to events long past.
- Pros:Full of history. Festive. Fun.
- Cons:Parking is a pain!
- In a nutshell:Take the Trolley, but see it for yourself.
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