Day 12 - Taos - New Mexico
Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
38Trip End Nov 19, 2012
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I did get a bit of yesterday's history wrong, so to correct some of it the area originally belong to the Indians, the the Spanish came and it became their territory, but when they started to push their religion and way of life on the Indians the Indians revolted against the Spanish and were victorious (the Taos Pueblo Revolt). But then the Comanche Indians raided the area and the Taos Indians couldn't defend themselves against the attacks so made friends with the Spanish to create a bigger and stronger community. But they didn't want the Spanish living on top of them so the Spanish people settled in what is now the town of Taos in what is now Taos Plaza
So that's why there's a strong Indian, Spanish, Mexican feel about this lovely little town.
Also lovely is the B&B. I love the breakfast table catch ups, which include our hosts as well as all the guests, we all seem to get in there at the same time so it's a great way to start the day. This morning I met a lovely lady from Calgary who was also travelling on her own so we spent the day together today touring Taos finishing up with a delicious dinner and glass of vino. We thought about tossing a coin to see who'd do the driving but as there was a slight possibility of me forgetting which side was the correct one to drive on she decided I could be the navigator, probably wise.
We went to the Taos Pueblo, the oldest continually inhabited community in the country. Native Indians still live in these dwellings as they originally existed, but as they remain without power and other modern conveniences it tends to be more the elders that continue to live here rather than the younger generations, though the younger generations do still live on the Reservation, just outside the Pueblo in more modern housing
The adobe dwellings that make up the Pueblo, and in deed most of the buildings in Taos, are made of a mixture of mud, straw and water. The outer walls need to be continually cared for and resurfaced or the buildings will eventually deteriorate (I suspect some of the more modern buildings around town are probably concrete made to look the same, but a large portion are made from traditional materials).
You can definately see the Spanish influence at the Pueblo as around 75 percent of the Indian inhabitants are catholic and attend the catholic church at the Pueblo.
We then went to visit another prominent Spanish church at Ranchos de Taos, the San Francisco de Asis church built in the 18th century.
Returning to scoundrels, this time a Spanish one, I found a monument in the Plaza of Padre Antonio Martinez who was a catholic priest in Taos in the early 1800s. As this chap's bishop was so far away (Santa Fe, but that was a long way away at the time) no-one really came to town to check on him that often so he decided to get himself a wife and have a bunch of kids that took the church years to find out about
Now for one last thing I found out today. The movie "Easy Rider" was filmed around here. The old court house and jail, now a shop in the Plaza, was where Jack Nicholson was held in jail in the movie. Dennis Hopper moved to the area in the 1960s and was instrumental in getting the film shot here. When he passed away his funeral was held at the San Francisco de Asis church. There's movie history everywhere in the USA!