Catholic Shrines & Places of Interest in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Catholic history of Santa Fe, New Mexico:
Spaniards began arriving in this area of New Mexico, (second oldest city founded by European Colonists) at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains around 1598, and as a result this beautiful city has a rich Catholic history. But the city of Santa Fe wasn’t officially settled until 1609-1610 by the conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta. He initially called this area of New Mexico La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assi (Royal town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi).
Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in North America and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. It is also the site of the oldest public building in America: the Palace of the Governors. In the last half of the 20th Century it became known as a mecca for artists, such as Georgia O’Keefe, and artisans alike.
Upon visiting Santa Fe (which means “Holy Faith” in Spanish), you will immediately notice that many of the buildings have a distinctive and very attractive Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture. This is based on the adobe (mud & straw) type of building used in the past, and is a result of a strict building code that has preserved that look.
Another reason for Santa Fe’s popularity is the year round sunshine and dry, beautiful climate. Today the city of approximately 80,000 draws many pilgrims and tourists throughout the year. If you enjoy Catholic history, exploring old churches and chapels, and shopping for Mexican and Native American influenced Catholic art, you’ll love Santa Fe.
Traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico:
Santa Fe is about an hour drive north of Albuquerque. If you are flying, it has a small regional airport with a few flights each day. Otherwise, you can fly to Albuquerque and there are shuttles that will take you to Santa Fe. Amtrak has train service to Albuquerque and, again, there is shuttle service to Santa Fe.
As you can see from the map below, all of these attractions are within a short distance of one another.
Among the places of interest to Catholics in Santa Fe: