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Monterey, California dates its origins back to 1602 and the establishment of the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo in 1770. Monterey’s early Spanish architecture is well-maintained and visible, making the city a unique historical site. The significance of San Carlos Cathedral 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 represents the birth of Monterey, the first capital of California.
The cemetery for San Carlos was established in 1834 is located 6 minutes from the cathedral. Many of the founding members of the local community are laid to rest in this historic cemetery. The grounds of the cemetery stretch out over 13.5 acres of gardens. In 1995 a member of the Monterey community donated the funds to construct an elegant gazebo in the middle of the gardens. For many years the gazebo functioned as a place of rest and contemplation for families visiting the cemetery. One year ago the Diocese of Monterey began a project to add columbaria to four sides of the octagon-shaped gazebo and one centered columbarium. The Diocese contacted KMI Columbaria to design an elegant rose-colored granite installation with a focus on permanence and beauty. The challenge of the installation was installing the extremely heavy granite columns inside the existing gazebo without removing the roof.
Today the gazebo holds the columbaria and provides a sacred space for families who prefer above-ground interment. The sunlight of the gardens pours through the gazebo and provides a sense of peace and tranquility.