August 22, 2016 – Santa Fe and New Mexico’s State Capitol

The seat of government for more than four centuries, New Mexico has one of the oldest as well as one of the newest capitols in the United States.  The Oldest is the Palace of Governors which dates to 1610

Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Originally constructed in the early 17th century as Spain's seat of government for what is today the American Southwest, the Palace of the Governors chronicles the history of Santa Fe, as well as New Mexico and the region.

Palace of the Governors (Original Governor's Office, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Early governors’ formal office

and is the oldest public building in the United States.  It served as the region’s capitol for colonial Spain, Mexico, the Pueblo Indians and the Confederacy (for a couple of weeks in 1862).

The area of Santa Fe was originally occupied by indigenous people, who had built a number of Pueblo villages about 1050 to 1150. One of the earliest known settlements in what today is downtown Santa Fe came sometime after 900.  A Native American group built a cluster of homes that centered around the site of today's Plaza and spread for half a mile to the south and west; the village was called Ogapoge.  Don Juan de Onate led the first European effort to colonize the region in 1598, establishing Santa Fe de Nuevo México as a province of New Spain.

New Mexico Supreme Court (b), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe (Rotunda), NM - 2016-08-22A shallow 60’ high, skylight-lit three story rotunda 49’ in diameter.

New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe (Rotunda Dome Skylight), NM - 2016-08-22

State Seal on the Rotunda Floor

New Mexico Supreme Court (State Seal on the Rotunda Floor), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22The Zia Indians of New Mexico regard the Sun as a sacred symbol. Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the Sun.

Four is the sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. The number four is embodied in:

  • the four points of the compass (north, south, east and west);
  • the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter);
  • the four periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night);
  • the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years and old age); and
  • the four sacred obligations one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others), according to Zia belief.

The symbol is featured on the Flag of New Mexico and in the design of both the New Mexico State Capitol and New Mexico's State Quarter entry as well as the state highway markers.

 House Chamber

New Mexico State Capitol, (House Chamber - b), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Senate Chamber

New Mexico State Capitol, (Senate Chamber - b), Santa Fe NM - 2016-08-22

Doors to House and Senate Chambers

New Mexico State Capitol, (Doors to House and Senate Gallery), Santa Fe NM - 2016-08-22

Backs of Chairs in House and Senate Chambers

New Mexico State Capitol, (House and Senate Seats Backs), Santa Fe NM - 2016-08-22

Supreme Court

New Mexico Supreme Court (a), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

The State Supreme Court does not meet at the Capitol but in a separate building in Santa Fe.

Governor’s Office

New Mexico Supreme Court (Governor's Office - a), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico Supreme Court (Governor's Office - b), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22We got to talking with teh Governor's receptionist and somehow she offered us two tamales … which were delicious!

Pie Town Exhibit in the Governor’s Office

A remarkable photo exhibit of a small rural community 7,800 feet west of the Continental Divide in Catron County in west-central New Mexico … photographed by Russell Lee for the U.S. Farm Administration in the summer and fall of 1940.   Many of Pie Town’s settles were “Dust Bowl” refugees from Oklahoma and Texas seeking a new start.Pie Town, NM (Main Street - October 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Filling Station and Garage - October 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Pulling a Car out of the Mud), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Family- September 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Faro and Doris Caudill's Dugout Homestead - October 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Doris Caudill and Daughter in her Dugout Homestead - October 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Pie Town, NM (Pumping Water- October 1940), New Mexico State Capitol, Santa Fe, NM  2016-08-22

Throughout the Capitol building are more than 600 pieces of artwork on permanent display, all works of New Mexico artists.

Some we Loved and Understood

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (q) Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (m), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (p - Dialogue) Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (k), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (g), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (i), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (f), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (j), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (d), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (e), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (n), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (o - Paintings on Ostrich Eggs), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Painted Ostrich Eggs

Including Beautiful Furniture lining the Hallways

New Mexico State Capitol, (Public Area Furniture - a), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol, (Public Area Furniture - b), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol, (Public Area Furniture - d), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol, (Public Area Furniture - c), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22The model's pretty good looking, too!

Others Pieces are a Complete Mystery

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (a), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (b), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

But, Most Intriguing

New Mexico State Capitol Permanent Artwork (h - Buffalo), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22This buffalo has inspired art since the first cave drawings.  As the artist focuses his art on emphasizing recycling and environmental awareness; old paintbrushes form the bridge of the nose and old film is woven into the brow; pottery shards are also worked into the nose, connecting Native Americans and the buffalo through pieces of dried mud; news from the 1992 Super Bowl “Redskins Buffalo Hunt a Winner” newspaper clipping are found in the horns; One eye is a lantern, symbol of light, hope and strength; the other eye is a fishing reel with a horseshoe surrounding it; clear plastic spoons are the irises.

 

As the Capitol Grounds are minimal … and perhaps as there is an abundance of outstanding sculpture throughout Santa Fe, there only a few pieces on the Capitol grounds, all commemorating the State’s rich native history.

New Mexico State Capitol Grounds Monumnet ''Passages'', Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Grounds Statue (a), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Grounds Statues (b), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Grounds Monument (a), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

New Mexico State Capitol Grounds Statue (c), Stanta Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

After leaving the State Capitol, we wandered through Old Santa Fe, which we’d visited several years ago.  Some of the interesting things and people we saw included:

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Its congregation established and first church built in 1610.  The church was destroyed in 1680 and rebuilt in1714.  The cornerstone for the present structure was laid in1850.and finally completed in 1895.

St. Francis Cathedral (Entrance Doors), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

St. Francis Cathedral (Nave), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

St. Francis Cathedral (Apse and Altar), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

St. Francis Cathedral (Organ Loft Stain Glass Window), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

St. Francis Cathedral (Stain Glass Window Image on the Floor), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Note the sunlight painting an image of the stain glass window on the floor

The Tiled Post of a Parking Meter

Tiled Parking Meter Post, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Spitz Clock

Spitz Clock, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

San Miguel Chapel

San Miguel Chapel, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22The San Miguel Church is the oldest structure in the USA.  The original walls and alter were built by the Tioxcalan Indians from Mexico under the direction of Franciscan Padres (Circa 1610)

San Miguel Church (Exterior Supports), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

San Miguel Chapel, (Interior) Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

and across the narrow street …

The Oldest House in the USA

Oldest House in the US, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Circa 1646

DSC_2675

DSC_2674

A Local for who a Bad Hair Day is not an Issue

Mohawk, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Wall Murals

DSC_2555

DSC_2554

DSC_2553

Center for the Preforming Arts

Center for the Performing Arts (a), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Center for the Performing Arts (b), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Center for the Performing Arts (c), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Loretto Chapel

Loreto Chapel, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Completed in 1878, the Loretto Chapel is a former Roman Catholic church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel.

Loreto Chapel (Spire), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Loreto Chapel (Mary), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Loreto Chapel (Nave), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

It is known for its unusual helix-shaped spiral staircase.

 Loreto Chapel (Spiral Staircase), Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.  The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support.  Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Colorful Serapes on sale everywhere

Coloroful Sarape, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Coloroful Sarapes, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Building in Which Billy the Kid was Jailed

Billy the Kid JailThe notorious New Mexico, Billy the Kid, was captured and successfully imprisoned for the last time in the downstairs jail housed in the Cornell Building (above) from December 1880 to April 1881; after which he was moved to Mesilla, NM for trail.  He was found guilty and sentenced to hang and then moved to a Lincoln County jail from which he escaped.  He was later shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Ft. Summer, NM on July 14, 1881.

Bronze sculptures throughout the City

Elk Sculpture, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

Donkey Bearing a Load of Wood Sculpture, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22

A Musician playing a “Handpan”

Musician with a Handpan on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM - 2016-08-22Sounding like a mariachi steel drum, the Handpan is a term for a group of musical instruments resulting from a growing worldwide interest in the Hang, an instrument invented and built by the German company PANArt Hangbau AG.

Late this afternoon, we watched a thunderstorm approach and then pass over us.  As the clouds began to dissipate and the sun reappear, a rainbow appeared … first dimly than morphing into an arc of truly brilliant color … to the east against the dark sky and Sandia Mountains which lingered for more than an half hour.

Ranbow (a), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33

Ranbow (d), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33

Ranbow (e), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33

Ranbow (f), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33

It wasn’t until we reviewed our pictures later this evening that we realized there was also a faint double rainbow.

Ranbow (b), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33

Ranbow (c), Albuquerque Central KOA, Albuquerque, NM - 2016-08-33Note how the colors are reversed in the secondary rainbow

This entry was posted in New Mexico State Capitol, Santa FE, NM. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *