Historic sites in New Mexico presents a captivating blend of Native American, Spanish colonial, and American frontier legacies which are not left just written in history. Their stories still influence its culture and its people.
One of the oldest historic sites you can explore is the Petroglyph National Monument, which has rock carvings that date back thousands of years, offering glimpses into the spiritual and daily lives of the region’s original inhabitants, and, within the last few centuries, Hispanics and Anglos, as well.
The many pueblos in the area are filled with history, as are buildings in the older areas of Albuquerque, which was founded as a Spanish settlement back in 1706. At the heart of the city lies Old Town, a historic district that has stood for over three centuries. Wandering its narrow, meandering streets, one can find well-preserved adobe buildings. One of the oldest surviving buildings is San Felipe de Neri Parish, its thick adobe walls and iconic twin bell towers have witnessed centuries of change and are emblematic of the area’s Spanish architectural influence.
The Coronado Historic Site (named after Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado) speaks of the ancient Pueblo people’s encounters with Spanish explorers. The site is believed to be the location of the fabled Kuaua Pueblo (“evergreen” in Tiwa), which the conquistador visited during his quest for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold.
Turquoise has been mined and revered in the region for centuries, and is intrinsic to the region’s identity. The “Turquoise Trail” trading route stretched from the Cerrillos turquoise mines northeast of modern day Albuquerque down into Central and South America. The blue-green gemstone, revered by both Native American and Spanish cultures, is deeply intertwined with New Mexico’s lore, symbolizing everything from status and wealth to protection and healing.
Although Albuquerque is a vibrant modern city, its history is steeped in old traditions, and constantly rejuvenating at the crossroads of travel in all four directions.