Far more than in most American
cities, history is close to the surface in Santa Fe. In the old
part of town it is visible on every street, for Santa Fe in the
1950s passed the nation's first Historic Styles Ordinance, preserving
the exterior appearance of a large part of the city. Thus no matter
how modern and up-to-date the interiors of the picturesque old
adobe structures may be, their look is much the same as it was
in the 18th and 19th centuries. Strolling
Santa Fe is like stepping into the past.
In addition to the "living museum"
aspect of the city, many specific sites have been preserved and
created to honor local history. As a service to SFAOL visitors,
several of them are listed below.
Amelia White Park-A charming,
low-key park with terrific mountain views, this spot at the intersection
of Old Santa Fe Trail and Camino Corrales honors the city's veterans
of the Korean War. It also has some remnants of the Old Santa
Fe Trail itself. It's a pleasant place for hikers to pause or
families to have a picnic. Information: 505-955-6200 or
Bataan Memorial Museum/Library-Many
of the victims and survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March
in World War II were members of a New Mexico military unit. To
honor them this museum, which actually is housed in an old National
Guard armory, presents memorabilia and research material. 505-474-1670.
Cross of the Martyrs-A monument
at the top of a short trail just a few blocks from the Plaza honors
21 Franciscan friars killed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. The site
also provides a majestic overview of downtown Santa Fe. Located
in the 600 block of Paseo de Peralta.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas-A
living-history museum, the lovely "Ranch of the Swallows" highlights
New Mexico's Spanish Colonial period. The site is a former stop
on the Camino Real highway that ran from Santa Fe to Mexico City.
Features include a mill, a frontier schoolhouse, a morada modeled
after the churches of the mysterious Penitente brotherhood, and
many other period structures. Several times a year there are demonstrations
of life as it was lived in colonial times. Guided and self-guided
tours. Open April-October. 15 miles south of Santa Fe in La Cienega,
I-25 Exit 276. 505-471-2261. www.golondrinas.org.
El Zaguan-A sprawling Territorial
hacienda, this massive adobe structure at 545 Canyon Road houses
the offices of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation. The large and
beautiful flower garden is named for noted archaeologist Adolph
Bandelier, who studied the ancient Pueblo Indians, and is honored
by the nearby national monument that bears his name. He was one
of many illustrious residents of El Zaguan. 505-983-2567.
Fort Marcy-Built in 1846 with
the arrival of the Americans to claim New Mexico, this fort protected
U.S. interests in the area. Now only ruins of the rampart remain,
in Prince Park, south of Kearny/Prince avenues. 505-955-6200 or 800-777-2489.
Loretto Chapel-A lovely Gothic
chapel just off the Plaza, this small church features the "miraculous
staircase" that has no visible signs of support. The nuns who
built the structure in the 1800s believed that a mysterious carpenter
who arrived and installed the staircase was an incarnation of
St. Joseph. 207 Old Santa Fe Trail. 505-982-0092.
Palace of the Governors-Built
in the 17th century to house the Spanish Colonial government
of New Mexico, the Palace dominates the Santa Fe Plaza and is
the oldest public building in continuous use in the United States.
It has served Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, the U.S. and now
New Mexico. It survived the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, the Mexican-American
War, occupation by Confederate troops and modern times. Soon to
undergo a major renovation. 505-476-5100. www.palaceofthegovernors.org.
San Miguel Mission-Historic
church, believed to be the oldest in the U.S. Permanent exhibits,
taped tours. 401 Old Santa Fe Trail. 505-983-3974.
Santa Fe Plaza-The authentic
"End of the Santa Fe Trail," the Plaza features historical monuments,
shady trees, quaint white wrought-iron benches and a gathering
place for locals and visitors alike. It also has a large selection
of shops and galleries, and is dominated by the ancient Palace
of the Governors on its north side.
St. Francis Cathedral-This
imposing edifice built of New Mexico limestone was constructed
under legendary Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and
1893. 213 Cathedral Place. 505-982-5619.
Santuario de Guadalupe-An 18th-century
mission museum, the Santuario is the oldest shrine to Our Lady
of Guadalupe in the U.S. Now a venue for performing art as well
as a church, it features botanical gardens and Spanish Colonial
artifacts. 100 S. Guadalupe St. 505-988-2027.