TaosAreaScenic

Taos was established in 1615 after the Spanish conquest of the Pueblo villages, including Taos Pueblo,
which was built between 1000 and 1450, the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America.
The Taos Area page contains images of Santuario de Chimayo near Santa Fe, the Rio Grande Gorge
Bridge near Taos, adobe ruins and San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos Plaza,
selected images from the Taos Pueblo page, and a unique Fridgehenge construction above Santa Fe.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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Santuario_de_Chimayo_HS6456


Santuario de Chimayo HS6456
(724 KB)

Santuario de Chimayo is in the Sangre de Cristos Mountains between Taos and Santa Fe.
The current church was built in 1816 to replace a small chapel built on the site by the land owner
Don Bernardo Abeyta after miraculous healings were reported at the site where a wooden crucifix
was unearthed. Known as the Lourdes of America, nearly 300,000 people per year travel to the
shrine, some walking from Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, and a few from as far as Mexico.

Santuario_de_Chimayo_HS6458


Santuario de Chimayo HS6458
(484 KB)

The site had been sacred to the local Tewa Indians for generations.
They also held sacred the mountain behind the church, called T’si Mayoh,
which also gave the area its name (Chimayo). The church was made by hand,
of wood and adobe with odd angles everywhere. The roof and towers were
originally flat topped (the roof and tower caps were added in the 1920s).

Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge_Taos_NM_HS6666


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos NM HS6666
(656 KB)

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge across the Rio Grande Gorge
northwest of Taos, New Mexico. It rises 650 feet over the gorge, making it one of the highest
bridges in the United States. Constructed in 1965, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge_Taos_NM_HS6662


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos NM HS6662
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The view of the bridge from the eastern side.

Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge_Taos_NM_HS6664


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos NM HS6664
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A view from the western side, near the rest area.

Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge_Taos_NM_HS6667


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos NM HS6667
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The cantilever truss bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge spans 1280 feet, with two approach spans and a 600 foot curvilinear central span. The bridge was built in 1965, and received the 1966 award for Most Beautiful Long Span Steel Bridge. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

The Rio Grange Gorge Bridge has sidewalks for pedestrians and only a chest-high guardrail allowing for a spectacular view of the Gorge below, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions in the area. The designers included platforms which cantilever out into space on either side of the bridge, seen in the images above and at right.

The bridge has been used as a location in several films.

Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge_Taos_NM_HS6669


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos NM HS6669
(553 KB)

Ranchos_de_Taos_Real_Estate_HS6464


Ranchos de Taos Real Estate HS6464
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A dilapidated adobe brick building in Ranchos de Taos.
It seems the owner has given up on it and will build to suit.

Ranchos_de_Taos_Real_Estate_HS6466


Ranchos de Taos Real Estate HS6466
(731 KB)

The building was still located on Ranchos de Taos Plaza
as of 2012, in case anyone is interested in a fixer-upper.

Ranchos_de_Taos_Plaza_Ruins_HS6474


Ranchos de Taos Plaza Ruins HS6474
(589 KB)

Ranchos_de_Taos_Plaza_Ruins_HS6481


Ranchos de Taos Plaza Ruins HS6481
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Located four miles south of Taos is the tiny community of Ranchos de Taos. On the St. Francis Plaza (known as the Ranchos de Taos Plaza) is San Francisco de Asis Mission Church and a series of adobe ruins which exhibit exceptional character. The church is shown further below.

The Plaza itself is hundreds of years old, and many of the original buildings are still standing. Nearby, some of the old adobe buildings are still in use, and others like those in this group of images are being allowed to melt into the landscape.

The Plaza was built atop an abandoned Indian village, and old bones and pottery are found from time to time. Dennis Hopper renovated the old Ranchos Theater across the street and lived there from 1990 until his death in 2010.

Ranchos_de_Taos_Plaza_Ruins_HS6478


Ranchos de Taos Plaza Ruins HS6478
(841 KB)

Ruins of old adobe buildings on the Plaza at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6471


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6471
(550 KB)

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church was built between 1772 and 1816 on the Plaza
at Ranchos de Taos. It was built to face a branch of the Old Santa Fe Trail, so its back is
facing the present roadway. Built of tens of thousands of adobe bricks, the church is given
a fresh coat of mud by the community each spring in the ceremony known as the Emjarre.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6485


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6485
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The approach to the front entrance of San Francisco de Asis, taken just after Christmas, with luminarias still on the walls.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6487


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6487
(441 KB)

The same scene taken with 60% polarization. Luminarias
are paper lanterns used as festival lights at Christmas time.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6489


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6489
(254 KB)

The front entrance to San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.
This church was the subject of four paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe
and numerous photographs by Ansel Adams and others, and along
with Taos Pueblo (located a few miles north), it is one of the most
often reproduced structures in the USA. It is considered to be
one of the most beautiful of the Spanish Colonial Churches.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6497


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6497
(358 KB)

San Francisco de Asis Church is built in Spanish Colonial style as a fortress of religion, with four foot thick adobe walls and enormous buttresses.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6495


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6495
(346 KB)

The buttresses at the entrance give the church a Sphinx-like appearance, and the rounded buttresses in the rear have been reproduced in numerous paintings and photographs.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6499


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6499
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A close oblique view of the entrance to San Francisco de Asis from the edge of the courtyard.

San_Francisco_de_Asis_Taos_HS6500


San Francisco de Asis Taos HS6500
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The monumental rounded buttresses at the rear of San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo of the Taos (Northern Tiwa) Pueblo people. Built between
1000 and 1450 AD, it is the oldest continually inhabited community in North America and is home
to about 1900 people. Most of the people have homes outside the Pueblo, but 150 still live within the
two ancient adobe structures separated by Red Willow Creek and several adjacent adobe houses.
The Pueblo is maintained in its ancient form, although doors and windows have been added in
the last century (earlier entrances were through holes in the roof). Every year a ceremony is
held during which there is a reapplication of the thick layers of mud plaster to the walls.
There is no electricity or running water, indoor plumbing or phones within the pueblo.

There is an entire page dedicated to Taos Pueblo
in the Indian Lands and Anasazi Sites section.

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_HS6543


Taos Pueblo North House HS6543
(677 KB)

A view of North House (Hlauuma) from across Red Willow Creek (Rio Pueblo de Taos).

North House (Hlauuma) is the largest multi-storied Pueblo structure still in existence,
and one of the most photographed and painted buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

Taos Pueblo (Tuah-Tah) is the largest surviving multi-storied Pueblo in the United States.
It is the oldest continually-inhabited community in North America, and it has changed little
in over 500 years. The Tiwa-speaking Taos Pueblo inhabitants do not allow electricity,
telephones or plumbing in the pueblo. Taos is the Northernmost New Mexico pueblo,
and inspired the Pueblo Revival style of architecture at the turn of the 20th century.

Tuah-Tah means “Our Village”. Taos means ”Red Willow” in the Tiwa language.

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_HS6568


Taos Pueblo North House HS6568
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North House from across Red Willow Creek.

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_HS6588


Taos Pueblo North House HS6588
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The Eastern side of North House (Hlauuma).

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_HS6517


Taos Pueblo North House HS6517
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Shadows from poles on the Summer Shelter point the way to the East Block of North House.

The people of Taos Pueblo trace part of their ancestry back to inhabitants of the Four Corners
region, the Ancestral Pueblo people of Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon known as the Anasazi
(or Hisatsinom) who migrated to the Rio Grande valleys in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_HS6579


Taos Pueblo North House HS6579
(305 KB)

The doors, door frames and window frames are traditionally painted turquoise or shades
of blue. This custom came in with the Spanish, and it is supposed to keep evil spirits away.
Note the vigas (exposed beams) supporting the roofs. Unlike those used in Pueblo Revival
architecture, vigas at Taos Pueblo are functional... they actually support the roof. As you will
see below, even buildings with smooth exterior walls have hidden vigas supporting the roof.

Taos_Pueblo_North_House_and_Plaza_HS6556


Taos Pueblo North House and Plaza HS6556
(452 KB)

A Summer Shelter at the south edge of the Plaza, North House is in the distance at right.
Under a tarpaulin inside the Summer Shelter is a horno (a beehive-shaped adobe oven).

Taos_Pueblo_South_House_HS6573


Taos Pueblo South House HS6573
(638 KB)

South House (Hlaukwima), while not as renowned as North House (Hlauuma),
is every bit as old. Like North House, the entrances to the Pueblo were originally
quite small and low, and entrance to the upper story units was through holes in the
roof and ladders. Before 1900, entrance to lower story rooms was also from ladders
on the outside and via holes in the roof, but since 1900 there have been ground level
entrances, and more recently entrances have been enlarged and doors installed.

Taos_Pueblo_South_House_HS6633


Taos Pueblo South House HS6633
(422 KB)

In the early days, lower floor rooms of Pueblos used to be for storage only, and the upper floor rooms were for living and working space. Things have changed a little bit in 500 years.

Taos_Pueblo_South_House_HS6628


Taos Pueblo South House HS6628
(438 KB)

Close detail of South House. While there are now doors to the first-floor rooms, ladders allow access to higher floors without having to disturb the people in the lower floor rooms.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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Taos_Pueblo_Adobe_Houses_HS6560


Taos Pueblo Adobe Houses HS6560
(401 KB)

Note the Vigas (beams supporting the roofs, which pierce the exterior walls). These are a
traditional part of pueblo architecture from early Pueblo (Anasazi) times, and are functional
parts of traditional Pueblo structures. In Pueblo Revival architecture, vigas are ornamental.

Taos_Pueblo_Adobe_House_and_Kiva_HS6547


Taos Pueblo Adobe House and Kiva HS6547
(449 KB)

An adobe house in the southeastern section of the Pueblo, just north of a large Kiva (right).
The foreground structure is a Summer Shelter, and the mound is a horno (an adobe oven).

Taos_Pueblo_Adobe_House_HS6591


Taos Pueblo Adobe House HS6591
(467 KB)

The easternmost Adobe House on the Northern side of the Pueblo, just East of North House.
The exposed joists of the Summer Shelter cast an interesting shadow on the front of the house.

Taos_Pueblo_Adobe_House_and_Kiva_HS6597


Taos Pueblo Adobe House and Kiva HS6597
(565 KB)

This shot from in front of the house shows the eastern edge of North House and
two of the three Kivas associated with North House behind the Summer Shelter.

Taos_Pueblo_Adobe_House_HS6642


Taos Pueblo Adobe House HS6642
(572 KB)

This house shows many traditional elements. The ladder for entry over the stepped adobe wall
 (and the spare ladder), a sturdy Summer Shelter next to the wall, turquoise window frames, vigas
supporting a veranda roof, and chili hanging to dry from the rafters. You know you’re in New Mexico.

Taos_Pueblo_Dog_San_Geronimo_6569


Taos Pueblo Dog San Geronimo 6569
(589 KB)

A Pueblo Dog entering the courtyard of San Geronimo
(St. Jerome Church), built in 1850 after the Taos Revolt.

Taos_Pueblo_Old_San_Geronimo_HS6656


Taos Pueblo Old San Geronimo HS6656
(604 KB)

The Bell Tower and Cemetery of Old San Geronimo
which honors the 150 who died during the Taos Revolt.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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Fridgehenge_Santa_Fe_HS6678


Fridgehenge Santa Fe HS6678
(414 KB)

Fridgehenge (or StoneFridge) was a Stonehenge replica built of refrigerators by
Adam Jonas Horowitz under the auspices of the Primordial Soup Company on a
plateau above Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fridgehenge was aligned with Los Alamos
National Laboratory6 as the original Stonehenge was aligned with the heavens, and
it was built by people wearing loincloths using primitive technology to move the parts.
It stood 18 feet tall in a 100 foot circle facing an inner group of taller Fridge Towers.

Fridgehenge_Santa_Fe_HS6675


Fridgehenge Santa Fe HS6675
(495 KB)

The 140 refrigerators were erected using teepee poles, ropes and pulleys, and a man-powered crane. During construction, his refrigerators were ‘accidentally’ bulldozed and vandalized.

Fridgehenge_Santa_Fe_HS6684


Fridgehenge Santa Fe HS6684
(387 KB)

The Sarsen Monument to Consumerism was built on the site of an old landfill. Fridgehenge was finally dismantled after a large storm knocked down many of the refrigerators.

Druid_Sunset_Fridgehenge_Santa_Fe_HS6671


Druid Sunset Fridgehenge Santa Fe HS6671
(438 KB)

The sun sets on Fridgehenge, atop a plateau overlooking Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Taos Area images:

Taos Area Scenic
Taos Pueblo

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TaosPueblo


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