El SantuÃ¡rio de ChimayÃ³ was built by devout northern New Mexico Catholics in 1816. The adobe church has since become an international spiritual draw, known for the healing powers many visitors claim to find at the small chapel. During …
Updated: Thursday, 05 Jan 2012, 6:25 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009, 1:44 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - In a walk around Santa Fe it is easy to place one foot in the 1600s and another in the 21st century. Here the country's oldest continuously used public building fronts on the historic plaza with nearby shops offering the latest styles in art, fashion and jewelry. The city itself maintains an ancient architectural style developed by the earliest settlers, Native Americans who founded pueblos throughout the area and left behind the stone remains of even earlier communities.
Santa Fe dates its founding to 1610 and is celebrating its 400th anniversary making it the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi River. Spanish settlers held a tenuous grip on their new and troubled land only to flee south in 1680 when the pueblos revolted over accumulated grievances and interference with native spiritual practices. The colonists returned a dozen years later with a new if grudging respect for their neighbors which allowed the pueblos to develop into a vital part of modern New Mexico.
With the coming of the railroad in the late 19th century Santa Fe became a tourist mecca and starting point to explore native cultures and the high country of northern New Mexico. Artists soon became attracted to the images and the pure light of Santa Fe and Taos with galleries following close behind. Georgia O'Keeffe lived in nearby Abiquiú, and a new museum a few blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza showcases her work.
More than 60,000 people call Santa Fe home humming to the rhythm of the seasons as skiing and the annual session of the Legislature yield to pilgrims trekking to el Santuário de Chimayó, hikers flocking to the Pecos Wilderness and Bandelier National Monument and shoppers wandering the grounds of the Tesuque Flea Market. Add to that the arias of the Santa Fe Opera, artists' markets on the plaza, the fiesta and whiffs of roasting chiles and you can sense the year-round beat behind the nickname The City Different.