Al 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.
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.
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!