Acoma, located atop a high mesa, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the United States. Popularly called “Sky City” because of its breathtaking views of the countryside, the pueblo consists of one to three-story adobe house blocks on three parallel streets, a plaza and a mission complex. Mission San Estevan del Rey, constructed between 1629 and 1641, is the oldest church of European construction remaining in New Mexico. Acoma was hostile to Spanish rule and the inhabitants participated in the 1680 Great Pueblo Revolt. Acoma is a “living” pueblo and has been continuously occupied since the 12th century. Acoma, a National Historic Landmark, is 13 miles south of Casa Blanca, New Mexico, on NM 23.
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Aztec Ruins Monument contains the remains of prehistoric Ancient Puebloan structures. The ruins were named when European settlers mistakenly attributed them to the Aztecs. The largest preserved structure is the West Ruin, a D-shaped great house constructed in the early 1100s. With close to 400 rooms, the site was occupied for over 200 years. Hubbard Site, dating from the early 1100s and one of only a handful of tri-walled structures in the Southwest, has three concentric walls divided into 22 rooms, with a kiva. Also of note is the Great Kiva, situated in the center of West Ruin’s plaza. It was rebuilt in 1934 by Earl Morris, archeologist for the American Museum of Natural History. By 1300 A.D. the Anasazi had vacated the sites and left the river valley for unknown reasons. Aztec Ruins National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is one mile north of Aztec, New Mexico, off US 550. Open daily.
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument was first occupied by the Anasazi in the late 12th-early 13th centuries. The monument’s sheer canyon walls contain numerous cave dwellings as well as petroglyphs (pictures pecked onto rock surfaces) and pictographs (pictures painted onto rock surfaces) that date from this period. Surface dwellings include the remains of two large villages, Tyuonyi and Tsankawi. Most of the occupants had vacated the area by the mid-1500s for unknown reasons. The distinctive Pueblo-Revival style Visitors Center was built of hand-hewn stone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, and today the Bandelier CCC Historic District is a National Historic Landmark. Bandelier National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is 10 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico, on NM 4.
Barrio De Analco Historic District
Barrio de Analco dates from before the recolonization of New Mexico by the Spanish that followed the 1680 Great Pueblo Revolt. A working-class neighborhood of Spanish Colonial design, the Barrio is characterized by adobe-brick, flat-roofed, Pueblo-style buildings once found throughout the region. Of particular interest is the Chapel of San Miguel built in 1620 and located on the corner of E. De Vargas and College streets. Originally constructed to serve the soldiers, laborers and Indians who settled across the river from the Palace of the Governors, the chapel eventually acted as a focal point for the establishment of Barrio de Analco. Barrio de Analco Historic District, a National Historic Landmark , is roughly bounded by E. De Vargas and College Streets and the Santa Fe River in Santa Fe, New Mexico.