Have you ever loved a place before you’ve ever even been there?Read about it and just knew that this would be your place? This was me with Santa Fe, New Mexico for years before going there. From the art to the colors, the shopping to the history, Santa Fe truly is a majestic city.
One of my favorite artists is Georgia O’ Keefe. From her flower paintings to her desert landscapes and especially her cityscapes I have always been so fascinated by her work. When planning a trip to Santa Fe the number one thing on my list was to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.
Located right inside downtown the museum is very easy to get to and close to other areas of interest. Even if you have been before it is worth multiple visits. With a collection of over 3,000 of her works, the museum rotates out the selections on display. It is open daily with the exception of some major holidays. For all info check out their direct website at Georgia O’ Keefe Museum.
The Loretto Chapel embodies the beautiful mystique of Santa Fe. The Gothic structure was built by French father and son architects Antoine and Projectus Mouly. Their designs were influenced by the Saint Chapelle in Paris. At the time it cost $30,000 to build, which reports say was paid for by the inheritances of the nuns.
In 1971 Loretto Chapel was sold and is now a private museum.
One of the main draws to Loretto Chapel is the Miraculous Stairway which has a very mysterious background. When trying to build a way to get from the first floor to the second the only solution seemed to be a ladder. Based on the space most carpenters had said it just was not feasible to build a stairway. Not satisfied with this conclusion the sisters of the chapel are said to have prayed to the patron saint of carpentry, St. Joseph. After praying for nine days a man came in looking for work. He spent months building the staircase, but upon completion, he disappeared without asking for payment. Some people believe this mysterious man was St. Joseph himself.
The Miraculous Stairway has been featured on television and in movies as not only the carpenter remains unknown, but the construction was also very advanced for the 1800’s. It is built with no nails, only pegs of wood and no visible support system.
The museum also allows weddings at the Loretto chapel. Considering the space there is no doubt any wedding photos taken here would be beyond gorgeous. For more info about the chapel check out their site here.
San Miguel Chapel is the oldest church in the continental United States. The building was built originally in 1610, but due to damage sustained in the Pueblo Revolt, it was rebuilt in 1710. In 1955 during another restoration of the church, pieces of pottery and human remains were found buried. Again mysterious seems to be a theme for Santa Fe, doesn’t it?
When walking around downtown you will notice the Pueblo Revival architecture, which is reminiscent of the traditional Pueblo adobe buildings. The earth tones of the buildings create such a lovely contrast with the blue sky.
You will notice the color contrast all around town, like here with the terra cotta plants and bright flowers. These contrast really give Santa Fe a beauty not found in many places.
There are many shops in downtown Santa Fe as well as vendors who set up in the Plaza. You can find Southwest decor for your home, mocassins, jewelry, leather goods and so much more.
The Oldest House, built in the 1700’s, is located at 215 East DeVargas Street. Now a museum, the home is a great example of Spanish Pueblo architecture. For more info call 505-988-1944 for the hours of operation as they do change.
One thing of interest that you will see in this picture are the blue windowsills and door. At first, I just thought this was another example of a beautiful contrast, however, upon researching it I found that the Pueblo Indians used this blue color as they thought it to keep evil spirits out of their homes.
Puye Cliff Dwellings, located fifteen minutes outside of Santa Fe is a step back into ancient history. 1500 Pueblo Indians lived amongst the cliffs here between 900 to 1580 A.D. There are dwellings cut into the cliffs as well as on top of the mesa. After the 1500’s the residents moved into the Rio Grande Valley and their ancestors are still there today known as the Santa Clara Native Americans.
In 1907 the Puye Cliffs were excavated by the Southwest Society of the Archeological Institue of America, becoming the first to be unearthed in the Rio Grande. Several tours are now available in the area,
My favorite place to stay when visiting Santa Fe is on the outskirts of town, just a 45-minute drive away to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Click on the link to read all about it as part of my Top Ten Favorite Hotels.
I hope you enjoyed our virtual trip together to Santa Fe! What places do you love that I should visit?