Taos Pueblo, in northern New Mexico, is the largest surviving multi-storied Pueblo structure in the United States. This beautiful Pueblo has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pueblo is on the United Nations UNESCO
Taos Pueblo is the northernmost Pueblo. The existing Pueblo was probably built around 1350, although the tribe claims that they have been settled in the valley from “time immemorial.” The Pueblo has stood through assaults by the Spanish and the Anglo settlers.
It was at Taos Pueblo that the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was planned. A runner coordinated efforts between the Pueblos who then revolted against the Spanish in a united effort. Spanish settlers fled to Santa Fe and Isleta Pueblo, one of the few Pueblos that did not participate in the rebellion. The Puebloans then attacked the Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe driving the Spanish out of the city. By the end of the century, however, the Spanish had re-conquered the Pueblos and made a peaceful re-entry into Santa Fe.
When you visit the Pueblo, just outside the historic section of the town of Taos, you will marvel at the beauty of the multi-story Pueblo buildings. I loved the beautiful San Geronimo Chapel (no photography allowed). I was advised, “go inside all the little doors and look around,” which means to check out all the little shops around the plaza. They are clearly marked. Each shop is also a part of the Pueblo building and is owned, as a home, by a family. The insides are fascinating. Some are very modern but most are true pueblo homes with low doorways and small windows.
The shops are fun. Members of Taos Pueblo are known for the simple micaceous clay pottery. It is brown and has flecks of mica in it. It is also fired the traditional way and so you will see characteristic black smudges on the pottery. You can buy jewelry and other gift items in the shops and enjoy baked goods from women who bake them in the morning in the hornos, or dome shaped ovens, in the plaza.
The Pueblo is usually open to visitors during the day except when tribal ceremonies and ritual demand closure. It is best to check the Taos Pueblo website for closures and ceremony days. They also maintain a Facebook page.
There are fees for visiting the Pueblo, for using your camera and for the services of a guide. Please check the Taos Pueblo website for current fee information.
Driving to Taos Pueblo From Santa Fe:
The Taos Pueblo is approximately a one and a half hour drive north from central Santa Fe. Ask for directions to Highway 285. One you are on it, follow Highway 285 for approximately 23 miles. Then turn onto Highway 68 and follow for 45 miles to the north. Highway 68 becomes Paseo del Pueblo Sur in Taos. Follow through the center of town. 1 mile from center of town, turn Right onto Veteran’s Highway and follow to end to Taos Pueblo. Map
This article was submitted by Elizabeth R. Rose. Elizabeth R. Rose is a travel writer, expert in cultural tourism and award-winning photographer. She writes for several Internet publications and, in addition, has her own blog, Travel Writer Rants and Raves.
All photos are Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose Photography