Scenic USA - New Mexico
St. Jerome's Chapel
|Chapel photo by Neil Marcus
Neil's PBase Gallery
Taos Pueblo inset photos by Betsy Kellenberger
Taos Pueblo, dating back nearly 1000 years, is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. Here in the ancient village, most Taos residents abide by a tradition of no electricity or running water. Split by Red Willow Creek, the Pueblo buildings, made of adobe, range from one to five stories. The complex of dwellings share common walls, but no connecting doorways. At one time, the only access was by a ladder from the roof. The Pueblo appears today just as it did when the first Spanish explorers arrived in 1540. Seeing the adobe walls glistening with mica, the Spaniards thought they had found the legendary Seven Cities of Gold.
Today, Taos still radiates that captivating old world enchantment. Taos tours begin at the historic Plaza where visitors will find a string of shops, boutiques, jewelry stores and restaurants. Here in the plaza among the drying racks for corn, meat and berries, local artisans offer mica-flecked pottery, silver and turquoise jewelry, and traditional leather items. Named for the Taos Pueblo patron saint, the St. Jerome Chapel is one of the outstanding National Historic Landmarks in the Taos Pueblo. Its symmetrical bell towers, stepped portal and smooth adobe walls attract artists and photographers from all over the world. Built in 1850 to replace the war damaged San Geronimo Church, the chapel's special hand carved vigas (log beams) and surviving decorative Spanish santos shouldn't be missed. In this part of the interior the tour guide suggests that you take no photos.
Faced with distractions of the modern world all around them, the biggest challenge facing Toas residents lies in their hopes to preserve ancient customs and traditions.
Taos Region Church Tour Map (pdf)
Additional Points of Interest
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