History of Santa Fe and Historical Highlights
American Indians - In ancient times Santa Fe was a place of
wild beauty. Native people hunted and fished in the mountains and
planted their crops in the fertile valleys. Although the arrival and
eventual domination of Europeans brought religious suppression, military
incursions, and disease to the region's Native American's, their cultures
survived. Today there are eight Indian pueblos with sovereign governments
in northern New Mexico -
OUR PUEBLOS PAGE. Indian art fills Santa Fe galleries
and museums. Visiting a pueblo, especially for a ceremonial dance,
is a moving experience. But it is important to observe common courtesy
and a few special rules. Dances are spiritual ceremonies, not spectacles.
It is respectful to refrain from asking questions and to give tribal
members the best views. Don't walk on private property or touch kivas.
Photography is restricted and sometimes prohibited. Go with an open
heart and you will be rewarded with a lasting memory.
- The small group of Spanish settlers who struggled across
the baking desert and up the steep mountains to northern New Mexico
nearly 400 years ago were a hardy and tenacious lot. To survive in
this remote outpost of the Spanish Empire, they drew closely together
and established the core values of family and faith that remain at
the heart of 21st century Santa Fe. Today, many of their gracious
adobe churches and homes still stand and thousands of their descendants
ensure that Hispanic culture is just as strong as the adobe walls.
Artisans working in styles passed down from their ancestors fill galleries,
museums, and shops. Spanish influences are everywhere.
Else - Ranchers, cowboys, merchants, and pioneers came to
explore and sometimes exploit Santa Fe's untamed wilderness. In the
early 1800's the region was a mystery to most Americans. Spain closely
guarded its territories, keeping foreigners out but then Spanish rule
collapsed, the Santa Fe Trail opened, and droves of Americans and
Europeans poured in to seek new fortunes. Railroads arrived and tales
of this exotic land brought the first tourists. Soon artists from
all over the world moved to Santa Fe, bringing their bohemian flair
and establishing the city's reputation as an art colony.
B.C. Nomadic Pueblo Indians
inhabit the region.
First Americans - In ancient times Santa Fe was a place of wild beauty.
Native people hunted and fished in the mountains and planted their
crops in the fertile valleys. They built multistoried dwellings, had
complex societies and governments, and journeyed along far-flung trading
routes. Their artistry transformed even the most ordinary objects,
and their spirituality wove through every aspect of their lives. Although
the arrival and eventual domination of Europeans brought religious
suppression, military incursions, and disease to the region's Native
Americans, their cultures survived. Today there are 19 New Mexico
Indian Pueblos with sovereign governments in northern New Mexico.
Indian art fills Santa Fe galleries and museums, and Indian people
make countless contributions at every level. Visiting a pueblo, especially
for a ceremonial dance, is a moving experience. But it is important
to observe common courtesy and a few special rules. Dances are
spiritual ceremonies, not spectacles. It is respectful to refrain
fro m asking questions and to give tribal members the best views.
Do not walk on private property or touch kivas. Photography is restricted
and sometimes prohibited. If you are invited to share food on a feast
day, it is polite to accept, but not to linger. Go with an open heart
and you will be rewarded with a lasting memory.
850 - 1250
was a major ancestral Pueblo Cultural Center.
and isolated, it offers few amenities, so come prepared. You will
find that the rewards are unlimited. Chaco Culture National Historical
Park preserves one of America's most significant and fascinating cultural
and historic areas.
Culture National Historical Park is a very special place. A thousand
years ago in what is now the American Southwest, the Anasazi (a Navajo
word meaning "ancient ones" or possibly "ancient enemies")
built dramatic adobe dwellings, or pueblos. Chaco Canyon was the center
of Anasazi civilization, its many large pueblos probably serving as
administrative and ceremonial centers for a widespread population.
It was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric
Four Corners area - unlike anything before or since.
is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings,
and its distinctive architecture. To construct the buildings, along
with the associated Chacoan roads, ramps, dams, and mounds, required
a great deal of well organized and skillful planning, designing, resource
gathering, and construction. The Chacoan people combined pre-planned
architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping,
and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public
architecture - one that still amazes and inspires us a thousand years
A Chaco Canyon Building
- 1400 Ancient Indian sites are abandoned as modern Pueblos
Day Taos Pueblo - Photo Scott Fields
Francisco Vasques de Coronado leads the first Spanish Expedition
to New Mexico.
Vasques de Coronado
Don Juan de Onate, New Mexico's first Spanish governor, leads
Spanish settlers to Northern New Mexico.
Juan de Onate
Santa Fe is established as the capital of the Spanish colony.
Pueblo Indians revolt and expel the Spanish.
Don Diego de Vargas leads the reconquest of New Mexico.
Don Diego de Vargas is the acclaimed New
Mexican governor who led the reoccupation of Santa Fe after
the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Diego de Vargas
Diego de Vargas was sent from Spain by the King to organize
a campaign for the resettlement of Santa Fe. Like his noble
conquistador forebears, Don Diego de Vargas was fearlessly intrepid
and sincerely pious. The Catholic history of the New World is
filled with the feats of such men forceful of character and
mind who aspired to greatness of soul and deed. Deeply devoted
to Our Lady of the Rosary *La Conquistadora, Don
Diego de Vargas took on the difficult mission and vowed to return
La Conquistadora to her rightful throne as Patroness and Protectress
of the Kingdom and Villa of Santa Fe. It is his remarkable reentry
without bloodshed into Santa Fe under the banner of La Conquistadora
that made him famous throughout Old and New Spain. "Fiesta
de Santa Fe", an exquisite and one of the oldest celebrations
in the United States, commemorates the return of the Spanish
colonists to Santa Fe and perpetuates the memory of Don Diego
de Vargas, Zapata Lujan, and Ponce de Leon el Marquis de la
Nava de Brazinas (visit our Fiesta page).
Conquistadors is the oldest statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Our Lady) in the United States to whom a constant public
devotion has been maintained. It is yard-high, wood-carved
statue housed in the Cathedral of Santa Fe. Additional informational
can be found on our Church page.
Spanish rule ends; New Mexico is part of
Mexico; the Santa Fe Trail opens.
During the war with Mexico, the U.S. claims New Mexico.
Railroads come to Santa Fe.
the 1930's my father worked as a young boy unloading produce from
freight cars at the Santa Fe Railyard. He has shared with me and
my family many interesting stories. The location is now home to
one of the most popular restaurants in Santa Fe! For a true taste
flavor at a very affordable price go to "Tomasita's"
on Guadalupe Street!
New Mexico becomes
the 47th American state.