Hey! We Know the Way …. to Santa Fe!

Sunday we took an hour drive north to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We were supposed to spend a week in Santa Fe, however, our RV has been in the repair shop this whole week in Albuquerque.  The wind storms we experienced the last couple of weeks wreaked havoc on the vinyl covers over the slide-outs, so they had to be replaced.  And, of course, the vinyl had to be ordered along with some other parts to do some routine maintenance.

We had heard a lot about Santa Fe from some friends who have visited there several times and who dearly love the area.  We had originally planned to explore more of that surrounding area, however, with the RV in the repair shop, we had to make it a day trip.  Therefore, we spent the whole day exploring Santa Fe.

We went to Historic Downtown Santa Fe and the Plaza.  The architecture of the buildings in this historic area is so unique.  Buildings made of adobe are primarily built in the Spanish Pueblo and Territorial styles which are rooted in the area’s history (google Santa Fe’s history; it is FASCINATING!).  City laws have been passed that ensure that new construction situated in core historic districts fits with the old.

Located on one corner of the Plaza is a monument that marks the end of the Santa Fe Trail (the Santa Fe Trail was important in the western expansion of our country).  On that same corner is a street sign marking that road as the Old Santa Fe Trail.


Just a block or two from the Plaza is The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, also known as Saint Francis Cathedral.  This cathedral was built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia (built 1714-1717).  Before that there was another church (built in 1626) on the same site that was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt (part of Santa Fe’s interesting history).



These brass doors were gorgeous!


The building of this cathedral was influenced by the Romanesque Revival style and is in dramatic contrast to the surrounding adobe structures.  With all the ornate details, majestic architecture, and the inside design and decor, this cathedral is breathtaking to see.  My pictures that cannot come near to portraying the grandeur of this cathedral.



I found it interesting that this cathedral had such an intimate connection with the great composer, Igor Stravinsky.

A couple of blocks from the cathedral is the Loretto Chapel which was built in 1873.  This chapel is a former Roman Catholic Church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel.  It has an interesting history also, but it is mostly known for its helix-shaped spiral staircase (the “Miraculous Stair”).  The name and origin of the builder have still not been verified.  It has been the subject of legend, and the circumstances surrounding its construction and its builder were considered miraculous by the Sisters of Loretto.  It also has very unique architecture and the inside is gorgeous.  It is now used as a museum and wedding chapel.



This is an artist drawing of what the original staircase looked like when first built. It is interesting to think this staircase and balcony were built without railings.


After visiting the cathedral and the chapel, we were hungry and tired.  We found a small Mexican restaurant called Burrito Cafe just off the plaza that had outside tables (we had our Shih Tzu, Zoey, with us).  We both had the taco plate complete with black beans and rice and all the “trimmings.”  It was delicious.

After lunch we walked around the plaza and did some shopping.  I particularly liked looking at all the handmade Native American jewelry on display along the sidewalks.  The Native American crafters display their work themselves.  I bought a cuff bracelet from one young man.  It’s nothing fancy, but I like the fact that I met the person who made it.  It looks like gold, but it is not.  Inside it has Native American symbols (called Journey Of Life Symbols), and the young man shared what each represents:  Sunrise – New Beginnings; Bear – Strength; Bird – Freedom; Arrow – Protection; Shooting Star – Good Wishes; Feather – Blessings; and, Sunset – Beautiful Ends.


The weather was beautiful the day we visited Santa Fe, and we had a great time!

I hope my telling of the places we have visited along with the pictures has piqued your interest in them.  Believe me!  There is A LOT of history behind each place we have visited.  If you are a history buff, just google any of these places, cathedrals, and monuments and you will have plenty of interesting history to read.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”