More information at 'http://www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com/' Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California. It's the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. Father Junipero Serra established the first mission in a chain of 21 missions here in 1769. This was the cornerstone of California's colonization (Old Pueblo de Los Angeles or San Francisco Mission Dolores). It was built on a hill overlooking Old Town San Diego. At the base of the hill, in 1820, a small Mexican community of adobe buildings was established, and in 1835, it became known as El Pueblo de San Diego.