Taos, rich in its history and vibrant culture, has a colorful past that is deeply rooted in the heart of the Taos Plaza. Hotel La Fonda de Taos, located in the center of the Plaza, has been an important part of its history over the years. Discover the history of the Taos Plaza and learn what makes Taos, Taos.
In the Beginning
The plaza as it is today retains its original shape but not its original use but remains as the central hub of the town.
Although Spanish settlers began to colonize the Taos Valley back in 1616, the first signs of the community in the Taos Valley date back as far as 1350.
In 1680, the Pueblo Revolt drove out the Spanish settlers. Spanish occupancy took back over in 1696 with the reconquest of Don Diego de Vargas. In 1796 the Don Fernando de Taos Land Grant, given to 63 families, resulted in the establishment of the Taos Plaza.
Upon this famous land grant, families built homes in large “quadrangles”. The homes created a fortress-like structure in the center of Taos Valley. To protect themselves from pillaging Indians, they placed soldiers at the corners of the village. Offering even more protection, a large gate was the only means of entry and exit to and from the Plaza.
Over the years the Plaza experienced many fires, with many buildings lost and then rebuilt. Most of what stands today does not date back to the Plaza’s beginnings but much of what you see today dates back to the 1930s.
For a complete timeline of history; visit the Taos County Historical Society.
Hotel La Fonda de Taos has been a long-standing part of the Plaza’s history. As far back as 1820, the hotel was known as St. Vrain Mercantile Store that sold various goods and served as a hotel and saloon. Over the years the hotel saw many different owners but the ownership of two brothers, James and John Karavas, who came to Taos in 1922 made the hotel what it is today. In 1937 the renovated and updated Hotel La Fonda was established, and the rest is history.
To read here for more about our historic Taos Inn.
Today the Plaza exists as the hub for tourists to experience a bit of the Taos culture. With its many shops, restaurants, art galleries and special events, it’s no wonder the Taos Plaza remains as the main gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
Enjoy the history of the Taos Plaza when you stay at Hotel La Fonda de Taos and experience a part of Taos history. The historic Taos Plaza is a vibrant place to visit and stay. Book your stay at Hotel La Fonda de Taos and enjoy deluxe accommodations in the heart of the Plaza.