Santa Fe, New Mexico




Nestled at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico, Santa Fe is a cultural mecca of art, history, and architectural interest, and offers numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Santa Fe was originally the site of ancient Pueblo villages that date back between 1050-1150. In 1540, conquistador Don Francisco Vasques de Coronado claimed the sites as the “Kingdom of New Mexico” for the Spanish Crown. Later in 1607, Spanish governor Don Pedro de Peralta founded Santa Fe as a new city, and called it “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís,” which translates as the “Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi.” This makes Santa Fe the oldest capital city in the country. It’s also home to America’s oldest continuously occupied government building, the oldest house, and oldest church.

A National Historic Landmark that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Santa Fe Plaza is a beautiful tree-shaded park with a monument, a gazebo for live entertainment and gatherings, and vendors and food trucks. This downtown district is home to numerous galleries, shops, restaurants, museums, and historic sites.  Since 1610, the Palace of The Governors has housed the offices and living quarters of 58 Spanish Colonial Governors, 16 Mexican Governors, 4 military and 3 civilian US governors, and 17 Territorial Governors. The iconic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy from 1869-1886, on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia, that was built from 1714–1717.

Boasting over 250 galleries, Santa Fe was the first designated UNESCO Creative City for craft and folk arts and is the country’s third-largest art market. It also has a robust Art in Public Places Program that features over 75 artworks in a variety of mediums that can be viewed in all kinds of parks, buildings and transit areas across the historic capital city. Exhibited in the interior and exterior public spaces of the State Capitol Complex, the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection represents over 600 New Mexico artists and is free to view. Museum Hill features the beautiful Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Museum of International Folk Art, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. There’s also nearby Bandelier National Monument and Fort Union National Monument to visit, as well as the Santa Fe National Forest.

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National Parks Arts Foundation

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