The shops are colorful with lots of outdoor displays.
The Plaza is right in the middle of things. It is actually a square park surrounded by shops.
Under the huge porch overhang of a very old government building, Indians had their goods spread out for sale on blankets. Most of it was jewelry.
In another little park, there was a market day in progress both days we were there.
Another view of the Plaza. You can definitely see that fall is here even though we still have summer in Central Texas.
The San Miguel Church is the oldest church structure in the U.S.
Just around the corner is the Oldest House in the U.S. At one time, 12 families lived in the oldest house but there are only a couple of rooms left now. It was also occupied by the Spanish Territorial Governor in 1709. It was occupied by different cultures represented in Santa Fe until 1920.
The next day we came back to Santa Fe to take a tour on the Loretto Line. We figured we would get to see a lot more that way. While we waited our tour bus, we went into a hotel next door and looked at the shops as it was cold outside. This is actually a coffee shop but art is everywhere in Santa Fe.
Once on the open air tour bus tucked into blankets and padded seats, we were off. Santa Fe is home to many churches.
One of the high lights of the tour was the ride down Canyon Road. It is a long narrow street the winds up the hill with galleries and shops all along the way.
I love the architecture in Santa Fe. The buildings in this area are all old but even new buildings look very similar. Our guide told us that any deviation from the Santa Fe style of architecture has to receive special approval before any building can occur. This makes Santa Fe look very unique and memorable.
Most everyone knows who Georgia OKeefe the famous artist is. While she lived out of town, this house is where her caterer and family lived. She fixed all the meals for visitor's to OKeefe's house. Our guide was friends with her son and visited here often when he was young.
We saw so much on this tour that we would have otherwise missed so we thought it was very worthwhile.
At the end of our tour, we went next door to the Loretto Chapel. It is now privately owned. It is famous for the "Miraculous Stairway". I remember reading about this in an architecture class I took in college a long time ago.
It truly is unique as there are no nails or fasteners of any kind nor is there any center support post. It is also famous because the building was built and there was no more money or space for a staircase at the time. Many builders said there was no way a stairs could be built in the available space. One day, a simple carpenter appeared and said he could build a staircase. The building was closed and he labored for many months. When he was done, a beautiful staircase was in place. It originally did not have a railing around it....that was added much later. The carpenter disappeared right after he finished before he was paid and he was never heard from again. So the staircase is a miracle in more than one way.
This is the staircase before the railings were added. Everything is perfectly fitted together.
We really enjoyed our time in Santa Fe and I can't wait until I can come back another time.