Scenic USA - New Mexico

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.



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Other nearby
Points of Interest

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Institute of American Indian Arts

Sena Plaza

St. Francis Cathedral Basilica

Canyon Road







San Miguel Church

San Miguel Church - Sante Fe, New Mexico

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     Once a haven for Native Americans, the area around Sante Fe was a marshy plain, fed by the cool waters of the Sante Fe River. Most likely, a network of settlements grew along the fertile River Valley, with archeological evidence dating a large village back to the 1200s. Descendants from these early tribes were some of the first people to witness the arrival of Spanish explorers. Although the Spanish tried their best to totally convert these native tribes, the Pueblo Indian culture survives today, adding an interesting mix of Spanish and Native American architecture, cuisine, traditions and life styles.
     Recently celebrating its 400 year anniversary, Sante Fe is proud of its humble beginnings and long history. Some of the oldest buildings in America can be found in Sante Fe, including the Palace of the Governors (inset), the oldest Palace of the Governorshouse on Vargas Street and the San Miguel Mission Church. Claiming to be the oldest church in America, the San Miguel Chapel was built between 1610 and 1625. Beautiful ornaments and paintings adorn the interior, along with a Spanish bell cast in 1356. Although damaged in the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, the thick adobe walls were not harmed. After the chapel was rebuilt in 1710, stone buttresses were added to strengthen the structure. One of the classic Spanish styled churches, San Miguel is part of a remarkable Santa Fe 17th century plaza that remains essentially intact.

   Santa Fe Plaza Map


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