Santa Fe deserved a full day of visiting. After all, it is the Capital of New Mexico! And the oldest Capital city of the USA. 400+ years old. Also it is the capital at highest elevation at 7,000 feet in the Sangre de Cristos foothills at the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains. Santa Fe has been rated the number 2 small city to visit in the USA and one of the top US destinations in the world for travel, romance , culture, art and food. The best part for us was the good weather. We could walk in the town and see all the interesting places without having to find a parking spot . After a short stop at the Tourist office, we had the right map and we were ready for the day.
Our first stop was at the San Miguel Mission Church. We were lucky to have lots of information from a very nice volunteer lady. San Miguel Mission, also known as San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish colonial mission church built between approximately 1610 and 1626. It is claimed to be the oldest church in the United States.
We also visited the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Santa Fe. Influenced by the French-born Archbishop Lamy and in dramatic contrast to the surrounding adobe structures, Saint Francis Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. As such, the cathedral features characteristic round arches separated by Corinthian columns and truncated square towers. The large rose window in front and those of the Twelve Apostles in the lateral nave windows were imported from Clermont-Ferrand in France.
We walked by the Loretto Chapel but did not go in. We also found the Georgia O’keefe Museum. This lady was born in Wisconsin in 1887 but she lived in NM many years. She is best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers. Georgia lived to be 98 years old. She said : ” I paint what interests me and what I see.” I am sure it would had been wonderful to spend one hour inside the museum. We didn’t as we were more in the mood to be outside. I just went quickly to the gift shop. And here I will share with you some of her painting.
As in Albuquerque, there is a main plaza in Santa Fe. The Palace of Governors is an adobe structure constructed in 1610. The natives gather there to sell their arts and crafts.
We drove to Canyon Road to see its beautiful preserved and restored adobe and Territorial-style homes. The mile long street is architecturally artful as well. I didn’t want to walk anymore that day so we drove up north of the city to see the Opera House. It was closed but we had a chat with a friendly lady working in the gift shop. The Opera house is only open during the months of July and August . This year, it will be there 60th season. The striking, state-of-the-art, open-air theater has won several important design awards and is widely recognized for blending contemporary design aesthetics with traditional building materials.
I will end my post here . With my next post we will continue our road trip. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed visiting Santa Fe with me.