Mission Santa Bárbara Aqueduct

Tour map

If you looked at the map page you noticed that this Mission had an extensive waterworks and aqueduct system. Portions of that are still used by the city of Santa Barbara but, for the purposes of just touring around the area of the Mission, take a left U-turn as you exit the cemetery and about a half block up the street you’ll notice a portion of the original aqueduct. Walk up to it and look across the street and you’ll see its extension in the park area.


Aqueduct section
Picture taken 11:25am 5 Jul 2001

Aqueduct extension
Picture taken 11:25am 5 Jul 2001




There are two landmark designations at the Mission. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the California landmark sign so I’ll have to add that on a later trip.

  • National Landmark


National landmark plaque
Picture taken 10:35am 5 Jul 2001

Santa Barbara Mission
has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark

Under the provisions of the Historical Sites Act of August 21, 1935 this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States.

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service




  • California Landmark

California Landmark SignPicture taken 5:38pm 26 Mar 2020
Courtesy of Craig Baker

The City of Santa Barbara
Mission Historical Park

Santa Barbara Mission was founded December 4, 1786. Portions of five units of its extensive water works, built by Indian labor, are preserved in this park. A filter house, Spanish grist mill, sections of aqueducts, and two reservoirs. The larger reservoir, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city water system. Ruins of the pottery kiln and tanning vats are here, also. The fountain and lavadero are nearby in front of the Old Mission. A dam, built in 1807, is located in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, one and one-half miles up Mission Canyon.

Registered Historical Landmark No. 309

Plaque placed by California State Landmark Commission
April 21, 1957