Taos Pueblo is the oldest of the communities of Taos. Situated just north of the town of Taos, at the foot of Taos mountain, the
Pueblo's two main buildings are the oldest continuously occupied structures in the United States. Nine hundred years old and virtually
unchanged in the 400 years since the white man first saw them, these buildings are the sensitive attempt of a reverent people to build
in harmony with the natural beauty around them. Taos Pueblo is open daily, with occasional exceptions for private ceremonies.
Much of the historic town of Taos can be enjoyed on foot. Taos Plaza, ringed by galleries, shops, restaurants and adventures in
history, is the heart of Taos. At the Plaza, the US flag flies day and night, as permitted by an act of Congress after Kit Carson and his
friends stood guard over their flag to protect it from Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. Most of the buildings around the
plaza are old; however, since Taos has always been plagued by fires, none of the plaza's buildings predate the 19th century. On the south
side of the plaza is La Fonda hotel, which contains an exhibit of D.H. Lawrence paintings once banned in London.
The Bent House
Northwest of the plaza is one of Taos' most charming shopping areas: the John Dunn boardwalk and Bent Street. On Bent Street is the home
of Charles Bent, the first US territorial governor of New Mexico. Governor Bent was killed in his home during the 1847 rebellion. The
Bent House is now a museum containing 19th century memorabilia and relics of the uprising. Governor Bent House is open daily; Tel
The Firehouse Collection
North of Bent Street on the corner of Armory Street and Placitas Road, is the Taos Volunteer Fire Department, home of The Firehouse
Collection. More than 100 works of Taos artists are on display--including great Taos pioneers Joseph Sharp, Ernest Blumenschein, O.E.
Berninghaus, Leon Gaspard, Bert Phillips, E.I. Couse, Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins. Usually open Monday-Friday; Tel 575-758-3386.
Kit Carson Home
One block east of the Plaza, on Kit Carson Road, is the Kit Carson
Home a National Historic Landmark which was once the home of
the famous scout and his family. Now a museum and open to the public, the Carson Home is filled with artifacts, tools, weapons and other
19th century Western Americana. The Carson Home is open daily; Tel 575-758-4741.
Stables Art Center
Further south on North Pueblo Road, next door to the historic, rambling Taos Inn is the Stables Art Center, the visual arts gallery
of the Taos Center for the Arts and former home of Arthur Manby, whose unsavory history included securing himself behind barred doors and
guard dogs for many of his 30 years in Taos. The Stables presents changing exhibits from time to time. Tel 575-758-2036.
On narrow, picturesque LeDoux Street, one finds the home of Ernest Blumenschein and the Harwood Foundation. Blumenschein's house, built
in 1797, is a National Historic Landmark. Blumenschein bought it in 1919 and restored it with European elegance and the charm and beauty
of Taos. The Blumenschein Home recreates
a colorful picture of the early Taos Society of Artists. Open daily; Tel 575-758-0330.
The Harwood Museum of Art
In 1860, Captain Smith Simpson, a contemporary of Kit Carson, built the core of The
Harwood Museum as his
home. The Harwood is a repository for the work of many painters who have lived in Taos, Mabel Dodge Luhan's santo collection and
a collection of wood sculptures by Patrociño Barela .
Open daily; Tel 575-758-3063.
The Millicent Rogers Museum
The Millicent Rogers Museum was
opened to the public in 1956 to assure that its patron's extensive collection remained in Taos. The core of the collection is Native American
jewelry, textiles, basketry, pottery and paintings assembled during the 1940s by Millicent
Rogers, a woman of wealth and distinction. In 1968 the Museum moved to its present handsome adobe building, the former home of Claude J.K.
Anderson. The Millicent Rogers Museum is four miles north of Taos and is open daily. Tel 575-758-2462 / Museum Store: Tel 575-758-4316.
In 1927 renowned Russian artist Nicolai Fechin [1881-1955] began building his new home here in Taos, New Mexico. Today the home and his
studio stand as landmarks symbolizing the colorful history of art in Taos. The home and studio are filled with Fechin's woodcarvings of
ornately carved doors, doorways and cabinets. Taos became an artist's "mecca" and home to the Taos Society of Arts. The Fechin
home is on the National Register of Historic Places and the home and studio are the home of the Taos
Art Museum . The Taos Art Museum is
located in front of the Fechin Inn, two blocks from the Taos Plaza. Tel 575-758-2690 .
The Martinez Hacienda , two miles west of Taos Plaza
on Ranchitos Road, was bought by Don Antonio Severino Martinez in 1804 and was added on to through 1827. The hacienda is on the National
Historic Registry, and is one of the few restored examples of New Mexican Spanish
Colonial architecture and life. The hacienda's 21 rooms and two courtyards are the site of the Old Taos Trade Fair each fall. Martinez
Hacienda is open daily. Tel 575-758-1000.
Ranchos de Taos
Just south of Taos is the village of Ranchos de Taos, settled by the Spanish in 1716. The Church of St Francis of Assisi is one of the
Southwest's most famous churches--it has been painted and photographed by countless artists who have lived in or passed through northern
New Mexico. The Ranchos Church ,
built in 1772, is fortresslike, with adobe walls four feet thick and enormous buttresses. The feast of St Francis is celebrated in the
church and village on October 4 and the church is always open to respectful visitors.
An excellent authoritative guidebook for New Mexico
Chilton, Chilton, Arango, Dudley, and Stelzner. Touring New Mexico. Albuquerque: University
of New Mexico Press 414 pages; 100 drawings;
22 maps; paperback