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
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
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 Bolivia 1940 Mexico 1940
Hat used by men (!) for Woman’s festival hat Hat used by men in
the Peyote ceremony the mountains of
Hat made of palm leaf
Negev Israel 1915
Burqa is an enveloping outer
Beautiful shawl 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 Hungary 19th century
Woman’s vest Leather vest for both
women and men
Egypt 1900 Indonesia
The Rahat or fringed leather skirt
(I like the name!)
Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts
As in many places, there are 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.
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 Fat Man, that was dropped on
Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was Nagasaki on August 9,1945, was
10’ long (3 m), 10.7’ long (3.25 m),
28” (70 cm) in diameter and weighed 60” in diameter (150 cm) and
8,900 Lbs (4045 Kg) 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 self-
contained; 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
A spectacular bridge spans the canyon and the river.
The bridge is 650’
(200m) 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