Do You Know The Way To Santa Fe?

Santa Fe has long been known for its rich culture and history. There are many museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, and opportunities to enjoy the performing arts. However, to fully benefit from all Santa Fe has to offer, it's important to understand the history of the oldest capital in the United States of America.

Santa Fe was founded by Spanish conquistadors and was a fusion of Spaniards, Pueblo Indians, and eventually Americans in the mid 19th century. It is this diverse background that has given Santa Fe such a unique disposition. Buildings that date back to the 17th century still stand and it is mandated that any new structure must reflect the Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture, giving it a consistent southwestern feel like no other city.

Another huge influence was the influx of Catholic priests that coincided with the arrival of the Spanish. Their effect is widely seen through the Santa Fe landscape. The style of the Spanish and Mexicans who flooded the area is evident but it was the individual fashion that Santa Feans created themselves that really made the city distinctive.

Many techniques that were initially used by their Spanish ancestors have been cultivated in New Mexico. A prominent piece of work is Santos, carved images of saints. Another inspired idea is the many uses of mediums from tin and iron to silver and straw. The people of New Mexico have found a way to update their native art in everything from sculpture to literature.

The artwork produced in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico has found its own following by some of the greatest museums, art critics, and art collectors around the world. However, you can find some of the most spectacular pieces on Canyon Road in the middle of town. Canyon Road offers the 3rd largest art market in the United States after L.A. and New York.

While art lovers visit the town on a regular basis, there are two huge events that really attract people from all over the world. The first, the Indian Market, is held over two days around the third weekend in August. It was initially held in 1922 and is now organized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAI). The market is a show for over a thousand Native American artists from around the country with works including textiles, pottery, and jewelry. In the end, artworks are chosen for distinctive awards but the customers are the true winners with the bevy of art at their fingertips.

Another big week for the art community is the Spanish Market that takes place towards the end of July. The Spanish Market was originally held in 1926 through the 30s when it ceased. It commenced again in 1965 and has been going strong ever since. Like the Indian Market, the Spanish Market also displays remarkable art; however there are about 250 Hispanics who supply everything from art to music and regional foods. A customer can find everything from woven baskets to beautiful jewelry at this event.

Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in America and its culture reflects a blend of civilizations that have settled in this area. The town is undoubtedly proud of its history and exhibits that in everything from art to song to food. Visitors to this magnificent place continue to fall in love over and over again and it's not hard to see why.

Travel + Leisure Magazine continues to list Santa Fe as the 5th most popular city in the United States and Canada in it's 2010 World's Best Awards.

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