Taos Pueblo was inscribed in 1992 onto the World Heritage List by UNESCO as the First Living World Heritage. The multi-storied adobe buildings have continuously been inhabited for over 1,000 years.
Address: 120 Veterans Highway
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Hours are Monday - Saturday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Note: To better appreciate the mountains, sky and detail in the buildings click on any horizontal photo. The photos will come up larger in a scroll thru format. Won't help on the vertical shots.
The buildings are made entirely of adobe - earth, straw and water mixed and poured into forms. After the bricks are sun-dried, they are stacked and bonded together with the same adobe mixture. The exteriors are plastered annually with adobe due to exposure of the four seasons.
The Pueblo maintains a restriction of NO ELECTRICITY and NO RUNNING WATER according to a brochure provided to me, Although there are now wood stoves some of the families still choose to cook in their fireplaces.
Arts, crafts and food are available at Taos Pueblo. Evin and I arrived late in the afternoon during a dust storm. So, we were unable to visit the artist or sample the famous oven bread and other traditional foods offered in the village.
I did have a very enjoyable meeting with Ilona, the Pueblo Tourism Director. She shared much information about "The Place of the Red Willows". Taos Pueblo is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.
The Native legends and detailed oral history trace their existence back to the beginning of evolution of man and all of creation. Their Native Language, Tiwa, is unwritten, unrecorded and will remain so. The details of their traditional values are guarded as sacred and are not divulged.
Ilona asked me and other visitors to not take photos of those who live in the Pueblo without their permission. Guided tours, often led by college students who live in the Pueblo are available most days.
Ilona further advised that the Millicent Rogers Museum who partners with the Pueblo holds a large collection on Native artifacts. Evin and I hope to visit there as well and include the museum in out day trips planning suggestions. We also hope to return and visit with the artist and sample the cooks wares at Taos Pueblo!!
Above is the largest "Dream Catcher" that I have ever seen!!
As we turned to leave we met Paul, who is seen above. He remarked how special Taos Pueblo truly is. I think of our earlier visits to Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Pecos National Historical Park and Hovenweep National Monument. All BUT Taos Pueblo have long been abandoned by their builders and inhabitants. All are very spiritual places to me, very special places as Paul noted.
Paul smiled and handed me a gift to remember him by. I gave him our contact information and invited him to come visit us. Paul sells the "World's Best Enamel Pin!!" and is traveling around the country just like Evin and me. He has a blog:
Conservation and preservation of the Sacred Village and the Blue Lake Wilderness Area are of primary concern to the Taos Pueblo. The Pueblo's goal is to maintain the area of over 100,000 acres in it's most natural state - protecting trees, water, fish, wildlife, soils and land from damage. The Taos Pueblo Wilderness Act provided the tribe with exclusive use of the area for traditional purposes, and is closed to the general public.
"We have lived upon this land from days beyond history's records, far past any living memory, deep into the time of legend. The story of my people and the story of this place are one single story. No man can think of us without thinking of this place. We are always joined together."
POSTSCRIPT: After an exciting and spiritual experience at the Taos Pueblo we made a quick trip to the Taos Visitor Center. For a town its size, I think Taos has one of the nicest Visitor Centers that Evin and I have ever visited. In many ways, it is nicer than those that some states have.
We stayed at the Taos Visitor Center till it closed. I walked around the Visitor Center and took a few photos, thinking that I may do a feature post on it in the near future. Before we could leave we saw a lady in a truck camper, a couple in a car pull over and park, and another family drive into the parking lot in a large Class C motorhome and go to the locked doors.
All parties looked dazed and confused. So, like with Dave and Ann in the post, "Angel Fire: Day 3 of An Enchanting RVing Destination", Evin and I spent the better part of an hour helping them figure out which way they would head next.
We shared directions and information about the four campgrounds and one casino we had stayed in at Pilar, Taos, Angel Fire and Eagle Nest. We also told them that there was free music in the Taos Plaza and what restaurants we had featured on the blog in Taos, Angel Fire, Red River and Cimarron. We also told them about Enchanted Circle Pottery. We told the couple in the car about the Lodge at Angel Fire Resort.
We encouraged them to read our blog and to not miss both ends of the Rio Grande Gorge del Norte National Monument. We shared our strong beliefs that Cimarron and Red River should also be visited. We share are most recent spiritual experience at the Taos Pueblo.
They asked us if we had been tour guides before we became full-time RVers, They laughed when I told them I had been a prison warden and federal law enforcement officer and that Evin had spent over 30 years in medical pathology. They asked us who we worked for and Evin and I just smiled and said, "We're the Unofficial Ambassadors of the Enchanted Circle".