Taos Pueblo


Taos Pueblo is approximately 1000 years old and considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the U.S. The native language, Tiwa, is unrecorded and unwritten and the traditional values are guarded as sacred.


The buildings are made of adobe, a mixture of earth, straw and water made into bricks, then plastered with the same adobe mix. Before the introduction of doorways, the only entry was by ladder through an opening in the roof. In case of attack, the ladders were pulled up to the roofs.


This version of San Geronimo Church was built in 1850 and is a registered National Historic Landmark and World Heritage Site. The original church was built in 1620, but natives opposed to the Spanish presence destroyed it. The same thing happened again in 1680.


Here you can see the church in relation to the pueblo.


I love the blues here.


I believe these windows were in the visitor’s center where I had to register as a photographer. No photos of the Pueblo are to be sold.


The Pueblo maintains the restrictions of no electricity and no running water in the sacred village. Wood stoves and fireplaces are used for cooking.


The Red Willow Creek flowing through the Pueblo is the sole source of drinking water for the members.


Up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the water flows from a sacred source known as Blue Lake. Since these areas are sacred, non-tribal members are not allowed there. I had to stand behind a fence to take this photo. There’s also a rule against photographing the residents.


When New Mexico became a territory of the United States in 1847, there was a revolt in Taos Pueblo. Mexicans and Indians killed Governor Charles Bent and others and marched on Santa Fe, but were subdued after taking refuge in the San Geronimo Church. American troops destroyed the church, leaving only this bell tower.


I was happy to see the sun come out just as we were leaving so I could get this shot.

Great weekend, everyone!


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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11 Responses to Taos Pueblo

  1. TBM says:

    I’m not extremely religious, but destroying a church is just wrong on so many levels. Interesting about their photography rules. I can appreciate that. Love the last shot.

    • That church has really been through it. Churches and holy books really seem to take the brunt in conflicts, don’t they?
      Glad you liked that photo–it almost didn’t happen because of all the clouds that day.

  2. bonniegunkel says:

    Your photos are fantastic, as always. But I really enjoyed learning about them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the story beind the images. Beautiful work.

  4. Thank you for this post! I found every bit just fascinating — the architecture, the stories and the sacred site. Do you know how many people are living in the pueblo today?

  5. Caroline says:

    I like adobe buildings and those blues look so nice.
    It’s rich in history that place. This post reminded me of the movie The Alamo (too corny for my taste but the photography was nice). I like the idea of a sacred source.

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