Location: Santa Barbara, California, USA
Address: 1100 Anacapa St.
Date: Feb 2014
If you find yourself in court, you could do far worse than the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1926 and is a great example of Spanish Colonial Architecture. We spent some time enjoying the building as well as the surrounding grounds during our visit.
As you approach the courthouse, an archway states "Dios nos dio los campos El arte humana edificó ciudades". This means "God gave us the country, the skill of man hath built the town."
Two figures sit above the archway. The figure in the photo above looks like a male version of the familiar Justice statue. He appears to be holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other.
Next to the archway is the Spirit of the Ocean fountain. This is a hand carved replica of the original courthouse fountain. The original had deteriorated through the years and it was decided that it must be replaced. The replica was unveiled in 2011.
The inside of the courthouse is equally impressive with its long hallways. Even the "Quiet. Court is in session" sign is unique.
Intricate mosaic tiles adorned benches and stairwells. The courthouse truly is a work of art inside and out.
One court room which is a popular wedding spot is the Mural Room. All of its walls are covered with a giant mural.
No trip to the courthouse is complete without a trip up the clock tower.
Just before reaching the viewing area at the top of the tower is the clock room. This houses a Seth Thomas tower clock which ticks away the time.
You can also see bells hanging from the ceiling inside to save space. This way everyone can visit the top of the tower and enjoy the view.
From the top of the tower you can see the red tiled rooftops of Santa Barbara. You can tell that the Spanish Colonial style is popular all across the town. Behind the town you can see the Santa Ynez mountains. Out across the ocean you can see oil rigs trying to hide behind the hazy sky.
We descended the tower and headed out into the gardens. We were glad that we were only visiting as tourists. If we found ourselves on trial at this courthouse at least there would be many beautiful distractions.
Map of Our World
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Post # 143