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New Mexico is one of America’s 50 states. Many people are confused by the name and think that it belongs to Mexico. It is a large state with about 121, 500 square miles, larger than Romania and about 12 times the area of Israel, but sparsely populated with about 2 million inhabitants. In June 2010, Bella and Dan Calistrat visited the area and want to share with you some of their memories.
Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. It is a small city with only 82, 000 residents, but with a lot of visitors. At an elevation of 7200 feet (2134 m) it is the highest state capital in the United States. Most of the homes are built of adobe - sun dried clay bricks mixed with grass for strength or with imitation adobe made of stuccoed concrete. Santa Fe is the second largest art market in the nation with hundreds of galleries around the city. I am wondering how they have enough business to survive with so much competition.
Santa Fe is located in the northern Rio Grande Valley at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains and is situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
The State Capitol is in the same adobe style as most of the buildings.
The Loretto chapel was built in 1872 and was designed in the Gothic Revival style. Although it was built on a much smaller scale, the chapel bears an obvious resemblance to the Sainte. Chapelle in Paris. The church is well known for its circular staircase and the legend about its construction.
The legend tells that after completion in 1877, the chapel did not have a staircase to go to the choir loft, and responding to the nun prayers, a mysterious carpenter built one from wood and then disappeared. What is unusual is that the staircase does not have a central column support and was built without nails or screws. The resulting staircase is an impressive work of carpentry. It ascends twenty feet, making two complete revolutions up to the choir loft.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is the largest church in town. The Cathedral was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on October 4, 2005.
This museum is by far the most interesting one in town.
A hat collection Mexico 1991 Hat used by men (!) for the Peyote ceremony Bolivia 1940 Woman’s festival hat Mexico 1940 Hat used by men in the mountains of Ciapas
Nigeria 1860 Hat made of palm leaf Hungary 1920 Wedding hat
Beautiful shawl Negev Israel 1915 Burqa is an enveloping outer garment worn by bedouin women for the purpose of hiding a female's body when out in public. It is worn over the usual daily clothing.
Nice color pattern
Montenegro 1875 Woman’s vest Hungary 19 th century Leather vest for both women and men
Egypt 1900 The Rahat or fringed leather skirt (I like the name!) Indonesia Woman’s blouse
Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts As in many places, there a lot of decorations with hot chili peppers.
For a city with so many artists and galleries, we were a little disappointed by the displays. Here is the nicest “thing” I found there!
On the way to Bandelier National Monument we saw an unusual stone formation.
Bandelier National Monument A very large park with many unusual and interesting ancient ruins. It contains also many steep narrow canyons with plentiful wildlife and mountains rising to 10, 000 feet. The park has also many acres of untouched backcountry areas and a colorful section of the Rio Grande river valley.
In many areas there are numerous small caves that were used as homes by the ancient Anasazi Indians.
Only 5 -6 people have room in this cave. View from inside.
Los Alamos (Spanish meaning "The poplars") is a small city with about 12, 000 people. It is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was founded to undertake the Manhattan Project. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world that conducts multidisciplinary research for fields such as national security, outer space, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology, and supercomputing.
The museum teaches visitors about the development of the atomic age from its beginning during World War II up until today. The history and the stories about the people who lived in the area during the 1940's was very interesting. You can see inside the full scale replicas of the atomic bombs that ended World War II.
The two bombs that ended a war and in a way saved a lot of lives. Little Boy, that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was 10’ long (3 m), 28” (70 cm) in diameter and weighed 8, 900 Lbs (4045 Kg) Fat Man, that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, was 10. 7’ long (3. 25 m), 60” in diameter (150 cm) and weighed 10, 200 Lbs (4640 Kg)
Taos is a very small community with about 5000 inhabitants. It has a well known Art Colony and in town there are over 80 art galleries and 6 museums. Every year two major art festivals are held in the city: one in spring and one in autumn.
Very close to the city is the Taos Pueblo, a group of very old buildings that were and still are the residence of the Pueblos Indians.
Taos Pueblo's most prominent architectural feature is a multi-storied residential complex of reddish-brown adobe estimated to be 1000 years old. The homes in this structure usually consist of two rooms, one of which is for general living and sleeping, and the second one for cooking, eating, and storage. Each home is selfcontained; there are no passageways between the houses. Access to the upper rooms is by ladder. Taos Indians made little use of furniture in the past, but today they have tables, chairs, and beds. In the Pueblo, electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing are prohibited. Today about 150 people live here.
Near Taos, the river Rio Grande flows through a spectacular canyon.
A spectacular bridge spans the canyon and the river.
The bridge is 650’ (200 m) above the water and is one of tallest bridges in the United States.
Traveling the roads of New Mexico you find many unusual rock formations.
Sometimes you see snow on the mountains.
We visited many lakes, rivers and woods.
As in Albuquerque, we were very pleased with our accommodations in Santa Fe. Do you like the pillow that I had in the dinning room?
Presentation and pictures (a few from Internet) by Dan Calistrat [email protected] com June 2010