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Best Santa Fe NM Walk Tour

Pueblo Bonito Inn
Seclude, historic adobe pueblo b&b inn- Santa Fe, NM.

Guests of Pueblo Bonito b&b inn can easily enjoy this self-guided historic Old Santa Fe walking tour. Just leave our doorstep, turn east on Manhattan and begin meandering the historic winding streets of the Old Santa Fe! 400+ years of New Mexico history comes alive when following this historic site filled path down the old Santa Fe Trail toward the center of downtown to the plaza of Santa Fe!

Governors Gallery at NM State Capital Roundhouse
Governors Gallery at NM State Capitol Roundhouse

First stop: corner of Don Gaspar and Paseo de Peralta:

New Mexico State Capitol– outside grounds and walkways feature world-renown artists and their work. Inside houses the Governor’s gallery. Santa Fe boasts the largest gross art sales in the world (behind NY and Paris).

Moving on and eastward, you’ll come to the Old Santa Fe trail- head north.

Old Santa Fe Trail– that famous route traveled via cover wagon from Missouri to Santa Fe to open up the American West! A 62 day journey by wagon train (if successful) thorough the Jicarilla Apaches to the destined Plaza of Santa Fe! Top dollar was paid for tradesmen’s wares (then as now!). The following historic buildings line this narrow road:

San Miguel Mission
San Miguel Mission- Oldest Church

San Miguel Mission-‘The Oldest Church’. Dates to founding of Santa Fe (1610); originally a Hermitage, or military chapel, it is the oldest known church in the continental US. Damaged during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, it was rebuilt in 1710 following the Spanish reconquest and served for a time as a chapel for the Spanish soldiers. The wooden reredos, which includes a wooden statue of Saint Michael dating back to at least 1709, was added in 1798. Though the church has been repaired and rebuilt numerous times over the years, its original adobe walls are still largely intact.

Barrio de Analco – area where working class residents (artisans, craftsmen, and servants) built their homes.  Analco means “other side of river”- accurate description of this barrio. Pueblo Revolt of 1680 caused barrio residents to seek refuge in San Miguel which was virtually destroyed. San Miguel Mission was restored in 1710 by Don Diego DeVargas.

Oldest House– labeled the “oldest building” in the city. Tree-ring specimens, taken from some of the vigas in the ceilings of the lower rooms, show cutting dates of 1740-67. In 1881 Bishop Lamy sold this property for $3000 to the  Christian Brothers, with the San Miguel Chapel and other property.

Lamy Building on Old Santa Fe Trail
Lamy Building on Old Santa Fe Trail

Lamy Building– on the Old Santa Fe trail named after Bishop Lamy of Spain. St. Michael’s College was established at the behest of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who had arrived in New Mexico in 1851 to find that formal schooling in the territory was nonexistent. After establishing the Loretto Academy for girls in 1852, Lamy recruited the De La Salle Christian Brothers to open a similar school for boys, and St. Michael’s held its first classes in the fall of 1859

Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel– built in 1850, when Bishop Lamy felt the need to educate the girls of the Territory, he a plea to Catholic teaching orders to open a school for girls.  The Sisters of Loretto responded. 6 sisters were sent to open the Loretto Academy.  Having been recently under Mexican rule, the Territory of New Mexico was full of Spanish-speaking citizens, so the 6 nuns had to learn Spanish. After an arduous trip during which the Mother Superior died, they finally arrived in Santa Fe and opened their school in 1853.  The Loretto Chapel is on the  Old Santa Fe Trail and the famous nuns of Loretto’s Miracle staircase is inside. It is a gothic style building with the mysterious story of the staircase’s builder (a beautiful architectural site). 12 stations of the cross are also viewable via the outside courtyard/park.

Now you’re at the center of our fair city- the plaza!

Santa Fe Plaza
Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza is a National Historic Landmark in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico in the style of traditional Spanish-American colonial cities. The plaza was (and still is today), the center gathering place and is known as “the heart of Santa Fe”. This is where Santa Fe began and has grown over it’s 400+ years of existence.

Northwest corner of plaza (intersection Palace and Lincoln Ave):

Museum of Art
Museum of Art- Santa Fe NM

Palace of Governors: Finished build date: 1610. The Oldest Government building in Santa Fe. Traditionally Native Americans are selling handcrafted wares under the portal, however, due to restrictions, the natives are unable to gather for sales.

Museum of Art– take note of the building -it’s a massive adobe beauty! The building was designed by architect Isaac Rapp and completed in 1917 and is an example of Pueblo Revival Style architecture. It is the best-known representation of the combining of Native American and Spanish Colonial design styles and was based on the mission churches of Acoma, San Felipe, Cochiti, Laguna, Santa Ana and Pecos.

Southwest Corner of plaza just a few steps westward on San Francisco:

The Original Trading Post (est 1610)– Located northside Palace Ave (intersects Galisteo St). Jesus Sito Candelario’s store appears today as it was after the turn of the 20th century by combining two adobe commercial buildings of long lineage.

Southeast corner of plaza:

La Fonda on Plaza– A 1920 Fred Harvey House! Partnered with Santa Fe Railway, Harvey purchased La Fonda which ties Santa Fe to the historic period of railroad expansion into the West. La Plazuela is the La Fonda’s restaurant- an excellent choice to acclimate one to local flavors and native cuisine!

Just east of plaza (easy to see on Cathedral Way):

Saint Francis Cathedral
St Francis Basilica Church

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It was built by Archbishop Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church. Th older church was built in 1626 and was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.

Stations of the Cross: Fourteen life-size sculptures by Gib Singleton. Stages represent events in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion as developed by St. Francis of Assisi. The Prayer Garden is sited in the remnant of Bishop Lamy’s once-extensive gardens on the cathedral grounds.

Cathedral Park: on northside of St. Francis Cathedral. In 1856 Bishop Lamy paid $1,000 for this pacel then sold it to the Sisters of Charity where St. Vincent Sanatorium was opened in 1883. This park for 90+yrs has been preserved as an open air space and enjoyed by Santa Fe citizens forming an important piece of the Santa fe Historic District.

Take Alameda east from Cathedral place to Paseo de Peralta, turning right till you get to Canyon Rd!

Meyer's Gallery
Meyer’s Gallery on Canyon Rd Santa Fe, NM

Canyon Rd– a half mile of  beautiful art pieces (more than you can image)! 98 galleries total. The “Disneyland of Art” as one of our guests fondly described it.

From Canyon Rd, one would go back to Paseo de Peralta and head north to the upper turn at which point the entrance to Cross of Martyrs is next to “The Girls Club”.

Cross of the Martyrs– near 616 Paseo de Peralta. A switchback walkway lined with commemorative timeline plaques. Single white cross at end dedicated to memory of bloodshed of 1860 Pueblo Revolt. Dedicated 1920. Excellent view of the downtown Santa Fe “skyline” (as if we had one!).

Cross of the Martyrs
Top of Cross Martyrs- Santa Fe.

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