A Spanish Colonial Revival structure with white stucco walls, blinding whiteness broken by many windows of various sizes; Spanish-Moorish elements like interior galleries with arches and staircases decorated with colourful tiles forming intricate patterns; a room with wall-to-wall murals recounting the city’s history; a clock tower offering 360° views and a cool inner courtyard offering peace and quiet. You would be forgiven for thinking of Moorish tower or place of worship in an Andalusian town. But, no, here we are, still in Santa Barbara and this is the city’s Courthouse, fully operational and complete with a Jail Wing, although the latter is no longer used to keep prisoners.
Visitors are welcome to walk around freely, take photos, marvel at the Moorish architecture and even have a picnic in the courtyard. This fantastic, yet quite real, time- (and space) bending trip is free of charge; all that is required by the hosts is for ”passengers” to remain calm, be courteous and refrain from smoking (stating the exact chapter of the code, lest we forget where we really are).
July 13th, 2017