Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Four four centuries, the central plaza has been the heart of Santa Fe. Today, Native American artisans sell their jewelry, rugs and pottery along the plaza's walls. A monument in the plaza marks the end of the famous Santa Fe Trail, which brought trading caravans to the city from Missouri.
The four hundred year old Palace of the Governors on the plaza is the oldest government building in the United States. This sprawling structure now houses a museum of New Mexico's history.
Santa Fe is one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations. Visitors are attracted by the city's rich mixture of Spanish, Mexican, Indian, and American cultures. Its spectacular setting at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; and its dry,sunny climate. Tourists love exploring Santa Fe's picturesque streets and adobe buildings, dining in the city's superb restaurants, and shopping in its dozens of art galleries. Annual events include the Santa Fe Opera, a chamber-music festival, a film festival, and the Fiesta de Santa Fe.
American troops took Santa Fe from Mexico without opposition in 1846. During the Civil War, Confederate forces controlled the city for two weeks.