Santa Fe “Town of the Holy Faith” is an ancient city nestled at 7000 feet in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The city was established in 1610 and is the oldest capital city in the United States.
Predating European settlement of Santa Fe is the culture of the Native American Pueblos. New Mexico’s Pueblo civilizations date back more than 12,000 years.
The Spanish culture arrived with the incursion of Coronado in 1540. Centuries of conflict turmoil and some assimilation ensued culminating in 1846 with the Mexican American War and New Mexico becoming a territory of the United States. Passed over 15 times, New Mexico was finally admitted to the Union in 1912 as the 47th state.
30 years after statehood, the most eminent physicists in the world gathered in the sacred Jemez mountains at a top secret facility called Los Alamos, The Cottonwoods, to develop the atomic bomb and ultimately change the world forever.
Today, the high desert of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico are, of course, physically part of the American landscape but not always strictly of America. The Pueblo, Spanish, and Anglo cultures interweave the old with the new creating a rich, often mystifying “Land of Enchantment.”
Image courtesy of the New Mexico Tourism Department