Santa Fe Plaza
Located in the heart of the City Different, the Santa Fe Plaza is the literal and figurative heart of Santa Fe. Modeled after the traditional Spanish-American colonial cities, the plaza serves as a place where the people and events of Santa Fe come together in the great spirit of New Mexico. As a National Historic Landmark, the downtown plaza is a favorite of both locals and visitors interested in Indian, Mexican and Spanish art, culture, music, jewelry, dance and design. The Plaza, as it is simply know, is home to popular annual events like the Santa Fe Indian Market and Spanish Market.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Plaza features a tree and grass lined central park which includes a performing arts stage and Indian War Memorial monument. During the holiday season, the plaza is a glow with farolitos and lighted trees.
Around the Plaza, the streets are lined with restaurants, businesses, historic monuments, art galleries, the Place of the Governors (which happens to be the oldest public building in the United States), Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Loretto Chapel and the New Mexico Museum of Art.
And the Plaza’s location is idea, as it is located in the center of town and only 16 miles from the Santa Fe ski basin.
The plaza was established in 1610 by Don Pedro de Peralta. The original plaza was a fort surrounded by large walls intended to provide protection for residents. Inside the walls were barracks, a chapel, residences, a prison and the Governor’s palace. And in true pueblo fashion, it features traditional adobe architecture. In 1822, the world famous Santa Fe Trail – a St. Louis to New Mexico trade route – ended on the plaza. Over time, the original fort walls were replaced by large homes built by high ranking Spanish official and officers.