The Historian's Guide to Santa Fe

These historic places in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, range from simple adobe homes to ornate cathedrals to Pueblo villages that have existed for thousands of years. Explore the guide to learn more about the city's deep ties to its people and places.

  1. Exterior of Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio

    Photo By: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Herbert Lotz

    Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio

    This 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era compound was in ruin when famous 20th-century artist Georgia O’Keeffe found it. She bought the property in 1945 and, for the next four years, supervised its restoration. It became a source of inspiration for some of her most acclaimed works.

  2. Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico

    Photo By: Minesh Bacrania

    Ohkay Owingeh

    Ohkay Owingeh is one of 19 federally recognized pueblos, or tribal communities, in New Mexico. The historic, 25-acre village's flat-roofed homes and ceremonial kivas have been fashioned out of adobe mixed from the local soil for so many generations that its origins disappear into the past.

  3. Caultron Operators (Image is public domain)

    Manhattan Project Historic Sites

    The Manhattan Project’s three primary sites speak eloquently to the project’s enormous scale and the frantic, round-the-clock effort required to create an atomic weapon ahead of the enemy. Santa Fe's Los Alamos was a historic base for scientists and engineers who worked on the bomb.

  4. HOPE Crew at Bandalier National Monument

    Photo By: Minesh Bacrania

    Bandelier National Monument

    A 33,000-acre site in northern New Mexico, this national monument contains more than 3,000 sites that date as far back as AD 1100. Bandelier is one of the nation’s largest collections of pre-Hispanic archaeological sites.

  5. Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Photo By: Cyborglibrarian/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

    The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1887, was the fourth iteration of churches built on this historic site. (The first was a simple pueblo constructed in 1610—the same year Santa Fe was founded.) The Romanesque revival cathedral was built around the former adobe church.

  6. Lorette Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Photo By: jpellgen @1179_jp/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Loretto Chapel

    The centerpiece of the historic Loretto Chapel, built in 1873, is its "miraculous staircase." Neither the identity of its creator nor the type of wood used to construct it are known. But the biggest mystery is the way the staircase was built: It has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support.

  7. Exterior of La fonda on the Plaza

    Photo By: Jen Judge

    La Fonda on the Plaza

    La Fonda’s history can be traced back over 400 years and, as the oldest hotel on the historic Santa Fe Plaza, it emits a timeless, elegant aura. This historic hotel embraces its New Mexican heritage and leaves a lasting impression on its guests.

  8. El Zaguan, James L. Johnson House & Garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Photo By: Kent Kanouse/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    El Zaguan (James L. Johnson House & Garden)

    Originally owned by Santa Fe Trail merchant James L. Johnson, this Spanish Pueblo style home was later transformed into a hotel by wealthy widow Margretta Deitrich. Deitrich was a suffragist and advocate for American Indian rights.

  9. Couse-Sharp Historic Site chapel

    Photo By: Couse-Sharp Historic Site

    Couse-Sharp Historic Site

    While a short drive from Santa Fe, the Couse-Sharp Historic Site includes the home, studio, and gardens of painter E. Irving Couse and the studios of his neighbor and fellow artist Joseph Henry Sharp. Both Couse and Sharp were among the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists. Part of the Historic Artist's Home and Studios program, the Couse-Sharp Historic Site is also a National Trust Distinctive Destination.

Announcing the 2024 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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