Monday, October 31, 2011

Historic Santa Fe

The above picture was taken in the town's square. For four centuries the square has served as the center of town in many aspects- culturally, socially and politically. Around this central area, in the 1600s, the Spanish built their homes, officer's quarters and barracks. Still standing today is the Governors Palace. It is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. This long low adobe building has been the seat of government for the vice royalty of New Spain, as well as the colonial government building for Mexico. The territorial government of the United States also used it, as well as Native Americans for a brief time after the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680. What a lot of history this building has seen, and the museum which resides in it now has exhibits which reflect the complex history of New Mexico and its many diverse cultures. Below is a picture of that building. On its porch Native American artisans gather to sell their wares.
There are numerous little shops, and art galleries around the town square. We wanted to tour Georgia O'Keeffe's art museum but it was getting late in the day. Our last stop of the day, New Mexico's capitol building, more than made up for missing that museum. The Capitol Art Foundation has made possible the placement of 600 artworks in the interior public spaces of the state capitol. The collection includes paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles, ceramic and glass works as well as furniture. Over 570 New Mexico artists are represented. This is one capitol building not to pass up. Below is a picture of the entrance to the building.
The facade of the building gives the impression that the building is square, but it is round, similar to other capitols. It has a rotunda in the center which is inlaid with a turquoise and bass mosaic of New Mexico's Great Seal. The skylight represents an Indian basket weave.

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