the wandering chick
...Santa Fe
Old Town

Give me the countryside anytime over the hubbub of the cities, but you can't go to Santa Fe and not enjoy all that Old Town has to offer.

The architecture alone is worth a few days of ooohing and aaahing; and then there's the art galleries, the restaurants, the museums, churches, the list goes on.

Santa Fe was established well before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. It is the oldest capital city in the U.S. and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. It was European settlers who first orgainzed the town in 1607.

San Miguel Chapel is the oldest church in the United States, constructed around 1610. The Palace of the Governors was built between 1610 and 1612 and is the oldest government building in the country. Santa Fe has both of these and much, much more.

architechural style
old architechtural style
One of my favorite buildings in Old Town Santa Fe is the New Mexio Museum of Fine Art. This is the back of the building.
One of many styles of New Mexico architecture found on Santa Fe's artsy Canyon Road.
adobe wall scene on Canyon Rd
the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art
The front of the museum (and in sunlight)
courtyard with art
On every block there's at least one courtyard. And in every courtyard there's art.
Sena Plaza was once the 33-room residence of Don Juan Sena and his family. Built in Territorial style, the highlight today is the courtyard which houses a restaurant. The building is located on E. Palace Ave., just off the Santa Fe plaza and is filled with shops, offices and restaurants.
restaurant exterior
performing arts building
performing arts bldg
the La Fonda Hotel
The Lensic is Santa Fe's Performing Arts building.
Another of my favorite Old Town buildings, both inside and out, is the La Fonda hotel.
inside the La Fonda hotel lunch room
wall art
Inside the La Fonda is their breakfast and lunch room. In the picure to the left: Wall art, just because they could. Below is an outside corner of their building with a simple plant arrangement. Two more pictures below show the exterior of the building.
outdoor plant arrangement
exerior adobe and beams
exterior adobe and beams
Loretto Chapel staircase

Two mysteries surround this staircase in the Loretto Chapel. Who built it? And how?

In 1878 the chapel was completed, but there was no room for a staircase to the choir loft.

Legend says the sisters of the chapel prayed to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, for an answer, and on the last day of prayers a man with a tool box appeared and was looking for work.

He completed the staircase in a matter of months and then just...well, he just disappeared. His finished work was a staircase with no nails (only wooden pegs) AND with no center support.

Its structure has baffled carpenters, scientists, designers and other experts for years.

The chapel was deconsecrated in 1971 and is, today, only a museum for the purpose of protecting and preserving the staircase. It's located on the corner of the Old Santa Fe Trail and Water Street.

old New Mexico architecture
A clean, simple courtyard
adobe fence and building
coyote fence
Coyote fences can be found all over this part of New Mexico. They are usually made of cedar, Douglas fir or spruce.
On Canyon Road
On Canyon Road
statue in courtyard
Bronze statue by Allan Houser (Haozous), a well-known Chiricahua Apache sculptor and painter. Houser has work all over the United States. In the last 20 years of his life he created nearly 1000 sculptures in stone, wood and bronze and had nearly 50 solo exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He died in Santa Fe in 1994 at age 84.
wildflowers in a street garden
outdoor restaurant
Inn of the Five Graces
A great pizza place on Old Santa Fe Trail at De Vargas
I fell in love with the Inn of the Five Graces on De Vargas Street. This and the next two shots were taken there. Oh! So was the sunflower.
Inn of the Five Graces
Inn of the Five Graces
sculpture on porch
closeup of sunflower
coyote fence
wagon of flowers
exterior of museum building
One more shot of the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art.
exterior of gallery
St. Francis of Asis Cathedral, exterior
A tower of the St. Francis of Asis Cathedral
a landscaped wall
Santa Fe plaza
The main plaza was just starting to show its fall colors when I left.
sun flowers on blue gate
double rainbow
No one can complain of a short, afternoon rain shower when the result is something like this!
If you're interested in seeing more of my New Mexico trip, please return to the New Mexico home page.
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