Taos Pueblo

Located near the Taos Mountains of the the Sangre de Cristo Range, Taos Pueblo is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.  Exact construction dates are not known, but the main dwellings were built between 1000 and 1450, which is the same time period as the High Middle Ages in Europe and the Mississippian Culture in what is now the Eastern United States. 

The inhabitants of Taos Pueblo are sometimes referred to as Tiwa after their spoken language or Red Willow People after the name of the river that runs through their settlement. They are descendants of ancient Native Americans known as Puebloans.  

Taos Pueblo is referred to as "the village" in the Tiwa language and the proper name is  ȉałopháymųp’ȍhə́othə̀olbo "at red willow canyon mouth."  Tiwa is a beautiful language and the interview with Pba-Quen-Nee-e (Blue Spruce Standing Deer) in the video below offers a small example of the Tiwa langauge along with some historic photos of Taos Pueblo.

The largest structures were built for defensive purposes with thick walls and exterior ladders that could easily be pulled inside if the village came under attack. Cedar logs support roofs that have layers of branches, grass, mud, and plaster covering them. 

The outside surfaces of the Pueblo are continuously maintained by replastering with think layers of mud. Interior walls are carefully coated with thin washes of white earth to keep them clean and bright.

The Pueblo is actually many individual homes, built side-by-side and in layers, with common walls but no connecting doorways. In earlier days there were no doors or windows and entry was gained only from the top.

The Village


San Geronimo Chapel (19th Centruy-1850)


San Geronimo Chapel (17th Century)

The previous San Geronimo Chapel (17th Century) was destroyed in the Mexican-American War in 1847

The previous San Geronimo Chapel (17th Century) was destroyed in the Mexican-American War in 1847