Tucked in the sotherwestern corner of the U S A, Santa Fe is called the “artists” city in the country. It was the centre of Pueblo Indian life in the 11th century and consists of many villages. Located high in the mountains (2134 metres above sea level), the winters are cold with some snow, and summers relatively warm.
Spaniards formally founded Santa Fe (Santa Fe means holy faith) in 1608 and made it the capital of their captured region in 1610. It is now the capital of the state of New Mexico. The town is laid out around the Central plaza with streets radiating from it.
It is a small city with a population of 85000, still with a Spanish aura but more importantly, Pueblo Indian architecture that still dominates many of the buildings.
Pueblo Indian artists still display their artwork in front of the main building of arts and crafts. The building and the daily display of artwork by local artists are a tourist attraction and meeting point of local collectors.
In the 1930’s Santa Fe became the Mecca for artists, wooed by the diffuse light of the region ad mild climate. It is now the second largest art market in the U S A.
Georgia O’Keefe was attracted to Santa Fe where she created many of her paintings on her ranch just outside of the city.
has many churches including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (1869).
Museums abound and a short sojourn will not allow sufficient time to visit them all, but any visitor should spend a few hours in the New Mexico Museum of Art, Gallery of Native American Indians, Georgia O’Keefe Museum, and Institute of American Arts Museum. If you have more time, plan to visit the History Museum, and Santa Fe’s Performing Arts Centre that dates back to 1931.
Once a week on Saturdays the farmers market opens at 7 a m where you can shop for Velarde apple cider, south-western chutney, spicy grainy mustard, pesto focaccia and goat cheese.
When you start feeling tired, many intimate cafes and small restaurants beckon. Some offer mainstream American staples, but there are many others that specialize in local specialties that many tourists with culinary interest should try.
The city offers a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels all the way to cozy bed and breakfast operations.
Sunset in Santa Fe
is spectacular and La Fonda offers the best sunset views.
There are several daily flights from major American cities to Santa Fe, but driving offs the best of New Mexico’ landscape.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.