Santa Fe is definitely the most fancy and artistic city in New Mexico. The city is the host to plenty of art galleries and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The famous American painter Georgia O’Keeffe who was inspired by the enchanting nature and adobe architecture of Santa Fe moved to Santa Fe in 1949 and introduced this beautiful city to the world. More than 3000 paintings are displayed in the museum and I must say you don’t want to miss it. You can also visit her home located an hour from the city centre. (If you wish to learn more about Georgia O’Keeffe, Artsy is a very good source)
The cities in New Mexico have often been under the influence of the Hispanic culture and one of the signs of this influence are the squares called plazas that you will find in almost every city centre. Santa Fe’s plaza was built around a large park, surrounded by nice restaurants and shops.
Some of the cathedrals and chapels in Santa Fe are not like any other churches you may have seen in your life. One of them is the St Francis Cathedral located in a small square near the Plaza. The first adobe cathedral was built in 1610, a bigger church was then built twenty years afterwards and was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in order to erase the Spanish marks. The actual cathedral was built in 1887. You should pass by the St Francis Cathedral at night, as the night lighting is very impressive.
Another must-see in Santa Fe is the Loretto Chapel, famous with its 360 degree spiral wood staircase. How the staircase was built without any visible support is still a mystery. According to the legend, St Joseph made it in answer to the sisters’ prayers to find a solution to access the choir.
And the last one is the San Miguel Chapel, which is the oldest church in the United States with one of the oldest wood alters in New Mexico.
In addition to the historical places to visit, Santa Fe is also well-known for the Santa Fe Opera House. The Opera House has a very modern architecture and is literally located in the middle of the desert. Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance to enjoy the breathtaking sunset along with the opera.
Since I’ve started to write about the modern parts of the city, it is time to talk about Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is an art complex transformed from an old bowling saloon. The House of Eternal Return, the first permanent exhibition was opened in 2016. This is a good example for the new non-linear storytelling technique, which makes the visitors explore the story by themselves.
Where to eat and stay?
The oldest and still the most popular restaurant of Santa Fe is The Plaza Cafe Downtown, open since 1905. They serve New Mexico classics such as burrito, enchiladas and taco as well as pasta, burgers and salads. For a nice afternoon tea with a delicious pastry or sandwich, I recommend The Tea House (821 Canyon Road). Inn on the Alameda is a very nice hotel with reasonable prices, which is in a convenient location to visit the historical plaza and Canyon Road where all the art galleries are located.
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