Christmas in the Monterey Adobes

Every year the Monterey State Historic Park Association arranges for an evening of access to several adobe buildings in the city. Some of them are not normally open to the public, so it was quite a treat to be able to visit them with my niece last Friday.

Adobe is the name given to a type of building construction. Wikipedia tells me that “adobe brick is a composite material made of earth mixed with water and an organic material such as straw or dung. The soil composition typically contains sand, silt, and clay.” These bricks created buildings with very thick walls which protected the occupants from both heat and cold.

Each place we saw was well prepared for our visit and provided tour guides and snacks. There were cookies and cider in several places, and the hosts wore period clothing to add to the sense of history. Everyone that we spoke with was very well informed about the buildings they represented and had some interesting stories to tell. They were justly proud of the preservation and restoration that had taken place in each location.

My niece and I managed to see sixteen buildings before I ran out of energy, but if I had more stamina there were several more on the list that we could have seen.  Here are some pictures of the buildings we saw.

San Carlos Cathedral
San Carlos Cathedral
Detail revealing the original wall. San Carlos Cathedral.
Details showing an original pillar and archway. San Carlos Cathedral
Wall niche with sculpture. (Possibly of a Spanish king.) San Carlos Cathedral.
Staircase to the choir loft. San Carlos Cathedral
San Carlos Cathedral
San Carlos Cathedral
San Carlos Cathedral
Case Pacheco
Stevenson House/French Hotel
Fireplace showing original foundations.
Remnants of original wallpaper
Bell to summon the maid
Stereoscopic picture viewer



  1. Thank you Anne. Your very physical sightseeing adventures along with the photos take me to places I would never get to see otherwise. The Adobes are wonderful, aren’t they? I only wonder about the staircase to the choir loft – yikes!

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