Built roughly 1,000 years ago the Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country. The 19-acre community houses a multi-story adobe complex that is home to 150 full-time residents. Settled at the base of the Taos Mountain of the Sangre de Cristo Range and cradled on either side of a pristine creek that flows from Blue Lake, Taos Pueblo not only brings with it beautiful scenery but a history that is just as rich and memorizing. If you are visiting the Taos Pueblo for the first time, here are some facts you should know!
When planning your trip to Taos be sure to use our interactive map as a guide to other things to do in the area.
The pueblo is made entirely of adobe. Adobe is dirt mixed with water and straw. To maintain this type of structure, new Adobe is added every year to keep the pueblo’s appearance. Sometimes the walls get too thick and some layers must be removed before adding a new one.
Originally homes were entered from holes in the ceiling. Homes were built side-by-side in multiple layers, made accessible by a ladder. So originally homes were entered from holes in the ceiling until Spanish explorers introduced doors that are still used today.
The first Catholic church that was built inside the Taos Pueblo was built by Spanish Jesuits. They established the mission of San Geronimo. Spanish settlers forced the Pueblo Indians into Christianity or they faced serious consequences or even death. As a result, a revolt took place that lasted for 12 years. In which the original church was destroyed. The chapel was re-built after the revolt as a symbol to Catholicism.
The Taos Pueblo was established as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
The village is still governed by a Tribal Governor and War Chief with their staff. All of which are appointed annually by the Tribal Council. The council currently consists of a group of 30 male trial elders.
Resident Taos Indians still cook with traditional outdoor ovens, called horno. These adobe, dome-like structures are heated with coal and are used for making foods like warm bread.
Blue Lake is considered to be sacred, as the pueblo’s place of origin. It is a ritual site that is only open to tribal members. Taos Pueblo had to fight to gain this land back, as it had been stripped away and designated as part of a national forest years ago. In 1970, President Nixon returned the 48,000 acres of land, including Blue Lake to the community.
The Hlaauma, the pueblo on the north side of the river, is one of the most photographed buildings in the Western Hemisphere. It is the largest multi-storied pueblo structure still standing today.
Taos Pueblo Pow Wow
Every year Taos Pueblo hosts their annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow. It is a weekend full of entertainment, arts and crafts, local food vendors, and so much more. As a festival that is highly revered by locals, it is must when visiting Taos.
Where to stay
Immerse yourself in the history of the Taos Pueblo and Taos itself by staying at Hotel La Fonda de Taos. Located in the heart of the historic Taos Plaza, there is no better place to enjoy the rich history of this colorful town. Choose from a variety of rooms, like our moderate Standard Queen or our luxury Penthouse. So, start planning your Taos getaway and book one of our many accommodations that are sure to meet your needs.