Santa Fe New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The City of Santa Fe History

Santa Fe, New Mexico is known as The City Different, and with good reason.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is an area rich in history and culture. Expect to see lots of art, vibrant color, and cultural pride when it comes to its history and attractions. The city is also the government seat for the state, as well as the state capital.

Though it is the capital, it is not the largest city in the state, nor is it a large city by any definition. Santa Fe is ranked the 4th largest city in New Mexico and has a population of around 70,000.

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The City Different. Santa Fe, New Mexico
History of Santa Fe NM
The city of Santa Fe has an interesting history. Once part of the Santa Fe Trail from Mexico, it was a major "port" in the Southwestern trade industry. As such, it had an abundant amount of people, money, and goods coming in and out of its borders. This made it a valuable acquisition, and in turn ownership of the city was fought over.

Santa Fe struggled to maintain its sovereignty through it all. In the end, just like the other countries that were unable to defend themselves against colonists, Santa Fe was conquered. Taken from the Territory of Mexico, then integrated as part of the territorial US, and finally accepted into the Union as part of New Mexico in 1912.

Some people may see New Mexico as a poor state, but Santa Fe is rich in history, art, and literature. It has always drawn thoughtful and insightful residents; authors, poets, artists, humanitarians. Visiting the city nowadays will prove just how progressive and culturally aware Santa Fe citizens are. It is an extremely unique and beautiful city, and one I love taking day trips to.

Click Here To Peruse The Many Useful Resources On Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The City Different
This name fits Santa Fe, New Mexico quite well. As noted above, while the state of New Mexico may seem out of touch with modern times and progression, Santa Fe is extraordinarily progressive. The beauty and history of the area touches artists and writers so profoundly that it is not unusual for them to spend many years of their professional lives taking inspiration from the environment around Santa Fe.

One of the most interesting aspects to Santa Fe, NM is the Renaissance ambiance of the town. This comes due to the fact that almost all of the buildings follow a single architectural theme, known as “Spanish Pueblo Revival”.

Spanish Pueblo Revival is based on the style of pueblos and Spanish missions found throughout New Mexico from the period of colonization. It reached its greatest popularity as a nouveau style in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but is such an identifiable design it is still desirable today. The main components of this style are comprised of adobe style walls, thick and textured and painted earthy-neutral tones. The roofs are always flat and corners are always rounded. Wood beams project out of the sides of buildings over windows, patios, and porches and are known as “vigas”.

santa fe nm, sante fe style
Spanish Pueblo Revival Architecture. Santa Fe, New Mexico
The style is so innate to Santa Fe, New Mexico that the local government implemented a series of ordinances which revolve around the stylization and building of “Pueblo style” architecture. They must adhere to a strict code in order to be considered appropriate.

And quite honestly, it is my favorite style of architecture. I love how rustic, yet refined and stylized, it is.

Visiting The City of Santa Fe
There are many things to see in the city of Santa Fe, and always more than you'll have time for. One of my favorite activities, outside of shopping & dining, is exploring Santa Fe History.

Santa Fe Event Calendar- Want to see what local events are going on right now? Visit the Santa Fe Calendar of Events.

Palace of the Governors- This historic building is the actual site of government buildings from before New Mexico was a territory. It gives an easily understandable history of the city and state for the last 450 years. The exhibits are extremely interesting and you’ll be able to see how some of those events and styles affect the city even today. Visit the Palace of the Governors website for more information.

Museum Hill- This is a perfect destination for people fond of museums, history, and really getting a feel for the city. There are four stunning museums along this route, and seeing all in one day is a lot, so I’d see them over a 2 or 3-day period. Visit the Museum Hill website for more information.

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art- Features exhibits from the Spanish Colonial world (of which New Mexico was a part) and housed in a historical building. Visit the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art website for more information.

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture- Native Southwest cultures and artifacts take you on a trip from the ancestral to the present. Visit the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture website for more information.

Museum of International Folk Art- Folk art from over 100 countries in the form of toys, textiles, household goods, and religious art for your viewing pleasure. Visit the MIFA website for more information.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian- New Mexico’s oldest non-profit museum focuses on Native American art and is housed in an octagonal building inspired by the traditional Navajo hooghan. Visit the Wheelwright Museum website for more information.

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Santa Fe Plaza. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sangre de Cristo Mountains- If you’re a more outdoorsy person, head to the mountains just outside the city limits and see the view overlooking Santa Fe New Mexico. It’s an especially rewarding trip if you take a hike, but be careful of altitude sickness. These mountains are nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Take your time and take lots of pictures.

Meow Wolf- One of the newest attractions to Santa Fe is Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return, a permanent art installation that is interactive and fun for the whole family. As an immersive art installation, visitors are encouraged to open every door, to peer around every corner, and most of all to use their imagination. It is definitely a fun way to spend the afternoon whether you've got kids or you're just a kid at heart. Visit Meow Wolf's website for more information

Santa Fe Opera- The Santa Fe Opera was founded by John Crosby in 1956 and has continuously offered summer opera festivals every year since 1957. The famed opera house, through their apprenticeship program, have produced some icon operatic performers including Judith Blegen, Ashley Putnam, Sherrill Milnes, Mark Doss, James Morris, and Joyce DiDonato. Oh, did I forget to mention it's an open air venue? Watch the spectacular New Mexico sunsets while being serenaded by your favorite opera. Only in Santa Fe. Visit the Santa Fe Opera website for more information.

You’re On Your Way!
There are so many things to see and do in Santa Fe New Mexico, you’ll want to do a little research before you go. Being from Albuquerque, I usually make it a day trip, and you can read about my adventures in Santa Fe here.

Have a wonderful trip and enjoy The City Different!

Related Pages:
My Santa Fe Day Trip
History of Santa Fe
Santa Fe Vacation Rentals