Santa Fe is unique. It is a center for the arts, particularly Native American and Latino art. For a small city, or large town (it has a population of 70,000), Santa Fe has lots of museums, galleries, hotels and restaurants. The photo above is the Inn at Loretto, a hotel next to the Loretto Chapel. It has traditional Santa Fe architecture.
These chili ristras are hanging in the courtyard of the New Mexico Museum of Art on a crisp, clear winter day, after a morning dusting of snow.
The New Mexico Museum of Art is located one block west of the Plaza, which is the main square in downtown Santa Fe. The museum features prominent New Mexico artists, including Georgia O'Keefe. The Georgia O'Keefe Museum is a few blocks away, which is the only museum in the country devoted to the work of a single female artist.
This is an architectural detail of the Lensic Theater in downtown Santa Fe. It was built in 1931. It was recently refurbished and is now used as a performing arts center for chamber music and other concerts.
This row of shops in an old, traditional western building one block east of the plaza in downtown Santa Fe after a dusting of snow. Santa Fe is at 7,000 feet elevation, so it gets snow in the winter, although it usually provides a gentle coating of white on the trees and bushes, but the ground is generally not cold enough for the snow to stick to the streets.
The San Miguel Mission Church is the oldest church in the United States, with walls dating to 1610. Santa Fe has a history that people in the East and Midwest may overlook, as they focus on the European exploration of the 13 original colonies. Santa Fe has been home to Native Americans for a thousand years, and it became a town in 1608 (one year after Jamestown and before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock). It became the capital of the Spanish Province of Nuevo Mexico in 1610. The San Miguel Mission Church was burned during the Pueblo Indian Rebellion of 1680 that expelled the Spanish from New Mexico in what could be called the first American Revolution. The church was reconstructed when Spanish control was reestablished in 1694.
St. Francis Cathedral is the main church of Santa Fe, located one block from the Plaza. This is the sixth church to be constructed on this site, with the present building completed in 1886, designed by French architects and carved by Italian stone masons. It has a chapel that dates to 1714 and the oldest madonna in the U.S., from 1625. The church was elevated to the status of a Basilica in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVII.