A Melding of Cultures

Santa FeAl and I manage to tear ourselves away from the Loretto Chapel to explore more of this historic town known as Santa Fe.  Santa Fe, New Mexico, is known as the highest and oldest capital city in the United States.  It offers 360-degree mountain views, over 300 days of sunshine a year, and some of the cleanest air in the country.

This 400 year old city is full of history and culture and offers something for just about everyone…. from a history buff, to an art lover, cultural explorer, outdoor adventurer, and even shopper.Santa Fe

The city’s architecture was of particular interest to me.   You won’t find any modern high rises in this town.  The Paleo-Indians were the original settlers of the area and the architects of adobe structures and the pueblo style that defines Santa Fe’s distinctive look.  Santa Fe continues to build homes that blend with the lay of the land in both color and style.

Santa Fe

The homes built in this subdivision blend in with the landscape – unobtrusive

San Miguel Mission

San Miguel Mission

Spanish explorers in search of gold made their way to the area in the early 1600’s.  A strong presence of Catholicism can be felt throughout the city.  Old San Miguel Mission is regarded as the oldest church in the United States, built between 1610 and 1626.  Al and I walk up to the altar.  The altar has a wooden floor and wooden steps leading up to it.  On the floor of the altar is a series of “windows”.  As we glance down, we view the original stone steps from the 1600’s.  Wow….if walls floors could talk!

Right next door to the San Miguel Mission is “The Oldest House in the USA” dating back to 1200 AD.  It is said to be built on part of a foundation of an ancient Indian Pueblo.  In the 1500’s the Spanish moved in and added rooms.  When the Anglos arrived, more changes were made.  Up until the 1920’s the Oldest House was continually occupied by people representing all the cultures of Santa Fe.  Local folklore abounds with stories of murderous witches and ghosts….I personally, felt no presence of these shadowy inhabitants.

As Al and I continue our stroll around Santa Fe, we come upon the Capitol Building.  No gold domed building here.  In keeping with the Pueblo / Santa Fe style, there is a sleek contemporary yet earthy feel to this building.  We explore the interior and watch a live session of the New Mexico State Senate in action.

That made us hungry……Santa Fe is well-known for its cuisine; a unique blend of three cultures – Native American, Spanish, and Anglo.  Al read about a restaurant located on Canyon Road and since I wanted to walk the “art and soul of Santa Fe“….we’re off in search of some fine cuisine.  Canyon Road is home to more than 100 of the world’s finest art galleries housed in buildings well over a century old.  Once again, I find myself intrigued with the architecture.

I’ll share more of Canyon Road and our lunch in my next post.  Just thinking about it has made me hungry!

FYI….in any of the photo galleries, if you click on a photo, it’ll pop up in larger format!

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25 thoughts on “A Melding of Cultures

    • I would highly recommend Santa Fe as a stop. There’s a few nice campgrounds in the area and endless backcountry to explore. Allow plenty of time. Unfortunately our time was way too short. Guess we’ll just have to go back 🙂

  1. We overnighted in Santa Fe on a trip home, but could not stay. Too sad for us. I did notice how the subdivisions blended in so well……have always wanted to go back and stay a while. Now, thank you, I REALLY want to go back and stay a while longer….LOL. Yes, let’s hear about the food….very important!!

    • We would’ve loved to have stayed longer as well, but weather played a major role in our schedule. We hope to go back and spend more time. Definitely worth a return visit 🙂

  2. Glad you are having a great time. Missed you guys at Cave Creek, there was a family with a tent trailer in your spot and they had a party all night long…not fun for the rest of the park for sure. Safe travels.

    • Gosh Kevin, if its not the weather its the neighbors!!! We so loved our time at Cave Creek. It’s now our home away from home. Wish we were still in AZ enjoying the blooming desert. Still winter here in CO 😦

    • Well, you know politics! It drug on and was somewhat boring but interesting at the same time. We were surprised by the open door freedom to explore the capital building. No metal detecter, just a couple of officers off to the side. We just meandered around the building like we belonged. There is also A LOT of back country to explore in NM. Just look at a map to the west and NW of Santa Fe. Worth a visit with the RV for sure!

  3. I love that there are no houses sticking up above the trees.. the town is just a part of the surrounds… so many old places get spoilt by high rise buildings… thanks for this share i look forward to the next post…

    • Yes, I really appreciate the city planners wanting to maintain the natural beauty and mountain views. Thus not allowing tall, obtrusive structures. On a return visit, I’ll do a posting on Santa Fes’ unique buildings. 🙂

  4. I love how so many areas have their housing blend in with the surroundings. Arizona and now Utah have done an amazing job of disguise buildings. Sure helps the view. I am such a fan of the adobe style house. One day way down the road I’ll have an adobe house with a lawn filled with cacti! Not sure where though.

    We only spent one day in Sante Feel years ago on a motorcycle trip so I am taking notes on where to visit. Thanks for taking us along!

    • Well our stay was only one day as well. Although we managed to pack in a lot of sites in that one day. Weather had us on the move. I too like it when the houses blend with the landscape. One day that “right spot” will hit you to put down roots again, and then again it may not and you’ll still be full-time ten years down the road…..haha!

    • Santa Fe should be a “must see” on your travel list. Just keep in mind the elevation is 7000 feet meaning they get plenty of cold weather at certain times of the year!

  5. We love Sant Fe and are looking forward to our being there in early April. Thanks for all the great info.

    • The weather should be really nice in April. Schedule plenty of time so you can meander. Be sure and keep us posted on when your heading back to CO.

  6. You two make me want to revisit Sante Fe, but we try to stay South of I-10 in the Winter/early Spring…We followed your footsteps, even to Canyon Road where the galleries and artisans are, but we didn’t have lunch there…You and Al should make the trip to Goliad, TX..The state park has a great campground. You can walk to the Presidio La Bahia..AND the Mission Espiritu Santo is right on the grounds..Just Google Goliad State Park…Now..hurry up and get to lunch, I’m hungry!!!

    • We’re thinking TX next winte…r so thanks for that info on Goliad. Our time in Santa Fe was way too short and I know we’ll return for a longer visit. There’s so much that we didn’t have time for 🙂

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