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Santa Fe (pronounced [ˈsænə fej] by natives, [ˌsænə ˈfej] or [ˌsæntə ˈfej] by others) (Spanish, "Holy Faith"; full form: La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís, English: Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi) is the capital of New Mexico, a state of the United States of America.

Santa Fe is the largest city and county seat of Santa Fe County. It had a population of 62,543 at the 2000 census. As of the 2005 census estimate the population was 70,631, making it New Mexico's third-largest city. It is the principal city of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Santa Fe County. The elevation of Santa Fe is nearly 7,000 feet (2,132 meters) above sea level compared with approximately 5,352 ft for Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Santa Fe under Spain and Mexico
1.2 Santa Fe and the United States
2 Geography
3 Climate
4 Santa Fe style and “The City Different”
5 The Arts and Culture
5.1 Sculpture
5.2 Artists and art galleries
5.3 Music and opera
5.4 Museums
5.5 Writers and other art forms
5.6 Sports
6 Tourism
7 Architectural highlights
8 Demographics
9 Sister Cities
10 Transportation
10.1 Air
10.2 Road
10.3 Local transit
11 Education
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Arts and cultural orgaizations
13.2 City/County/State
13.3 History and current affairs
13.4 Newspapers and publications
13.5 Maps


The city of Santa Fe
San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe is the oldest church structure in the US. The adobe walls were constructed around A.D. 1610
Palace of the Governors, 1609-10
Santa Fe, 1846-1847
Capitol Building
Santa Fe under Spain and Mexico
Santa Fe was the capital of Nuevo México, a province of New Spain explored by Coronado and established in 1598. The city was founded by Don Pedro de Peralta, New Mexico's third governor. Peralta gave the city its full name, "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís", or "The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi".

A settlement on the site that would become Santa Fe was first established by Juan Martinez de Montoya in 1607. The town was formally founded and made a capital in 1610, making it the oldest capital city and the second oldest surviving city founded by the European colonists in what land was later to become part of the United States, behind St. Augustine, Florida (1565). (Jamestown, Virginia was also settled in 1607).

Except for the years 1680-1692, when, as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, the native Pueblo people drove the Spaniards out of the area known as New Mexico, later to be "reconquered" by Don Diego de Vargas, Santa Fe remained Spain's provincial seat until the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. In 1824 the city's status as the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was formalized in the 1824 Constitution.

Santa Fe and the United States
In 1841 a small military and trading expedition set out from Austin, Texas with the aim of gaining control over the Santa Fe Trail. Known as the Santa Fe Expedition the force was poorly prepared and was easily repelled by the Mexican army. In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico, and General Kearny led a troop of US Cavalry into the city to claim it and the whole New Mexico Territory for the United States. By 1848 it officially gained New Mexico through The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Colonel Alexander William Doniphan under the command of Kearny recovered ammunition from Sante Fe labeled "Spain 1776" showing both the quality of communication and military support New Mexico received under Mexican rule. (Garrard, Lewis H., Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman Oklahoma, 1955, originally published in 1850)

In 1851, Jean Baptiste Lamy, arrived in Santa Fe and began construction of Saint Francis Cathedral. For a few days in March 1863, the Confederate flag of General Henry Sibley flew over Santa Fe, until he was defeated by Union troops.

Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. But as the tracks progressed into New Mexico, the civil engineers decided that it was more practical to go through Lamy, a town in Santa Fe County to the south of Santa Fe. The result was a gradual economic decline. The first aeroplane to fly over Santa Fe was piloted by Rose Dugan, carrying Vera von Blumenthal as passenger. Together they started the development of the Pueblo Indian pottery industry, a major contribution to the founding of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

In 1912 New Mexico became the country's 47th state, with Santa Fe as its capital.

Santa Fe is located at 35°40′2″N, 105°57′52″W (35.667231, -105.964575)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 96.9 km² (37.4 mi²). 96.7 km² (37.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.21%) is water.

Santa Fe is located nearly 7,000 ft. above sea level, making it highest located State Capital of all 50. These are State Capitals whose altitude is 4,000 ft or above:

Santa Fe, New Mexico - 6,989 ft
Cheyenne, Wyoming - 6,067 ft
Denver, Colorado - 5,260 ft
Carson City, Nevada - 4,730 ft
Salt Lake City, Utah - 4,266 ft
Helena, Montana - 4,090 ft

The average temperature in Santa Fe ranges from a low of 14°F (-10°C) to a high of 40°F (4°C) in winter, low of 55°F (13°C) to a high of 86°F (30°C) in summer. Santa Fe receives 2-3 inches (50-75 mm) of rain per month in summer and about 5 inches (13 cm) of snow per month in winter.

Santa Fe style and “The City Different”

An Adobe Pueblo Revival style building near the Plaza in Santa FeThe Spanish laid out the city according to the “Laws of the Indies”, town planning rules and ordinances which had been established in 1573 by King Phillip II. The fundamental principle was that the town be laid out around a central plaza. On its north side the Palace of the Governors was located while, on the East, was the church which later became the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

An important style implemented in planning the city was the radiating grid of streets centering from the central Plaza. Many were narrow and included small alley-ways, but each gradually merged into the more casual byways of the agricultural perimeter areas. As the city grew throughout the 19th century, the building styles evolved too, so that by Statehood in 1912, the eclectic nature of the buildings caused it to look like “Anywhere USA” (as Hammett notes). The city government realized that the economic decline, which had started more than twenty years before with the railway moving west and the Federal government closing down Fort Marcy, might be reversed by the promotion of tourism.

To achieve that goal, the city created the idea of imposing a unified building style – the Spanish Pueblo Revival look, which was based on work done restoring the Palace of the Governors. The sources for this style came from the many defining features of local architecture: vigas and canales from many old adobe homes, churches built many years before and found in the Pueblos, and the earth-toned, adobe-colored look of the exteriors.

After 1912 this style became official: all buildings were to be built using these elements. By 1930 there was a broadening to include the “Territorial”, a style of the pre-statehood period which included the addition of portals and white-painted window and door pediments. The City had become “Different”. However, as Hammett notes, “in the rush to pueblofy” Santa Fe, the city lost a great deal of its architectural history and eclecticism”. Among the architects most closely associated with this “new” style is John Gaw Meem.

By an ordinance passed in 1958, new and rebuilt buildings, especially those in designated historic districts, must exhibit a Spanish Territorial or Pueblo style of architecture, with flat roofs and other features suggestive of the area's traditional adobe construction. However, many contemporary houses in the city are built from lumber, concrete blocks, and other common building materials, but with stucco surfaces (sometimes referred to as "fauxdobe", pronounced as one word) reflecting the historic style.

In 2005/2006 a consultant group from Portland, Oregon has been preparing a “Santa Fe Downtown Vision Plan” to examine the long-range needs for the “downtown” area, roughly bounded by the Paseo de Peralta on the north, south and east sides and by Guadalupe Street on the west. In consultation with members of community groups, who are encouraged to provide feedback, the consultants will make recommendations on whether to proceed with the present policy of focusing on the Territorial and Pueblo styles.

The Arts and Culture

Modern naturalistic sculpture typical of Santa Fe
The city is well-known as a center for many arts and all reflect the multi-cultural character of the city.

There are many outdoor sculptures, including many statues of Saint Francis, and several other holy people, such as Kateri Tekakwitha. Given that Saint Francis was known for his love of animals it is not surprising that there are great numbers of representations of crows, bulls, elephants, livestock and other beasts, all over town. The styles run the whole spectrum from Baroque to Post-modern.

Artists and art galleries
Canyon Road, east of the Plaza, has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, and is a major destination for tourists and locals. Santa Fe's art market is the third largest in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles, and the Canyon Road galleries showcase a wide array of contemporary Southwestern, indigenous American, and experimental art, in addition to older Russian, Taos Masters, and Native American pieces.

The town and the surrounding areas have a high concentration of artists. They have come over the decades to capture on canvas and in other media the natural beauty of the landscape, the flora and the fauna. One of the most well-known New Mexico-based artists was Georgia O'Keeffe, who lived for a time in Santa Fe but primarily in Abiquiu, a small village 35 miles away. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is named after her, and it is devoted to exhibitions of her work and associated artists or related themes. As of March 2006, it will hold about one thousand of her works in all media.

Music and opera
Music and opera are well represented in Santa Fe with the annual Santa Fe Opera productions, which take place between late June and late August each year, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival which is also held at the same time, mostly in the recently-refurbished movie theatre, the Lensic Theater, now a major performing arts venue.

Santa Fe has lots of world-class museums. Many are located around the Plaza downtown:

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
The Museum of New Mexico
Museum of Fine Arts - collections of Southwestern Arts.
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum - Native American arts with political aspects.
And in the Museum Hill district:

Museum of International Folk Art - various kinds of artistic stuff for every-day use, from jewerlies to toys.
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Laboratory of Anthropology - exhibits Native American arts and photographs
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian - Native American potteries
Museum of Spanish Colonial Art - arts during Spanish-colonial era.

Writers and other art forms
Performance artists and authors followed the influx of specialists in the visual arts. Famous writers like Cormac McCarthy, Roger Zelazny, George R. R. Martin and Jack Schaefer have been residents.

The New Mexico Style are an American Basketball Association franchise founded in 2005.

After State government, tourism is a major aspect of the Santa Fe economy, with visitors attracted year-round by the climate and related outdoor activities (such as skiing in years of adequate snowfall; hiking in other seasons) plus cultural activities of the city and the region.

Most tourist activity takes place in the historic downtown, especially on and around the Plaza, a one-block square adjacent to the Palace of the Governors, the original seat of New Mexico's territorial government since the time of Spanish colonization. Other areas include “Museum Hill”, the site of the major art museums of the city, and the Canyon Road arts area with its galleries.

Some visitors find Santa Fe particularly attractive around the second week of September when the aspens in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains turn yellow and the skies are clear and blue. This is also the time of the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe, celebrating the "reconquering" of Santa Fe by Don Diego De Vargas, a highlight of which is the burning Zozobra, a fifty-foot puppet also called "Old Man Gloom".

Within easy striking distance for day-trips is the town of Taos, about 70 miles North and the historic Bandelier National Monument about 30 miles away. Santa Fe's ski area, Ski Santa Fe, is about 16 miles north of the city.

Smokers should be aware that the City Council recently passed a strict anti-smoking ordinance that bans smoking in all businesses and public places in the city. Bars are no longer allowed to set aside a smoking area.

Architectural highlights

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, 1869New Mexico State Capitol
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Loretto Chapel
Palace of the Governors
San Miguel Mission
Santuario de Guadalupe

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 62,203 people, 27,569 households, and 14,969 families living in the city. The population density was 643.4/km² (1,666.1/mi²). There were 30,533 housing units at an average density of 315.8/km² (817.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.30% White, 0.66% African American, 2.21% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 15.29% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47.82% of the population.

There were 27,569 households out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,392, and the median income for a family was $49,705. Males had a median income of $32,373 versus $27,431 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,454. About 9.5% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.

The minimum wage in the city of Sante Fe is $9.50 per hour, which makes it the highest in the nation. There are plans to increase this wage to $10.50 per hour in 2008.

Sister Cities
Santa Fe has six sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Parral, Mexico
Santa Fe, Spain
Sorrento, Italy
Tsuyama, Japan
Holguín, Cuba


Santa Fe is served by Santa Fe Municipal Airport. However, due to the very limited air service, most people choose to fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport, about an hour's drive south of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is located on I-25. In addition, U.S. Route 84 and U.S. Route 285 pass through the city along St. Francis Drive.

Local transit
Santa Fe Trails operates a number of bus routes within the city.

The public schools in Santa Fe are operated by Santa Fe Public Schools. The city has two private liberal arts colleges: St. John's College, U.S. and the College of Santa Fe and a community college, Santa Fe Community College. The city has two private college preparatory high schools, St. Michael's High School and Santa Fe Preparatory School.

Further reading
Acuna, Rodolfo, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, Pearson Education, 1999

Hammett, Kingsley, Santa Fe: A Walk Through Time, Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2004 [ISBN 1-58685-102-0]

Larson, Jonathan, "Santa Fe", RENT, 1996

Wilson, Chris, The Myth of Santa Fe: Creating a Modern Regional Tradition, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997.

External links
Find more information on Santa Fe, New Mexico by searching Wikipedia's sister projects:

Dictionary definitions from Wiktionary
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews

Arts and cultural orgaizations
High Mayhem Experimental Arts Collaborative
Santa Fe Museum Directory
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum official site
Santa Fe Opera official site
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival official site
Lensic Performing Arts Center official site
Santa Fe Pro Musica official website

City of Santa Fe official site
Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau official tourism site
Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce

History and current affairs
"Early Cities of the Americas": the history of Santa Fe
Santa Living Wage Network
Somos Un Pueblo Unido

Newspapers and publications
Santa Fe New Mexican daily newspaper on line
Santa Fe Reporter weekly newspaper on line

Maps and aerial photos Coordinates: 35.667231° -105.964575°
Street map from Google Maps, or Yahoo! Maps, or Windows Live Local
Satellite image from Google Maps, Windows Live Local, WikiMapia
Topographic map from TopoZone
Aerial image or topographic map from TerraServer-USA
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Agua Fria | La Cienega | Tesuque
Santa Fe County
State of New Mexico
Regions Central New Mexico | Eastern New Mexico | Llano Estacado | Northern New Mexico | Sangre de Cristo Mountains | Southwestern New Mexico
Cities Albuquerque | Las Cruces | Rio Rancho | Roswell | Santa Fe
Towns Alamogordo | Artesia | Belen | Carlsbad | Clovis | Deming | Española | Farmington | Gallup | Grants | Hobbs | Las Vegas | Lovington | Los Alamos |
Los Lunas | Portales | Raton | Ruidoso | Silver City | Socorro | Taos | Truth or Consequences | Tucumcari
Villages Corrales
Counties Bernalillo | Catron | Chaves | Cibola | Colfax | Curry | De Baca | Doña Ana | Eddy | Grant | Guadalupe | Harding | Hidalgo | Lea | Lincoln | Los Alamos | Luna | McKinley |
Mora | Otero | Quay | Rio Arriba | Roosevelt | San Juan | San Miguel | Sandoval | Santa Fe | Sierra | Socorro | Taos | Torrance | Union | Valencia
Colleges Central New Mexico Community College | College of Santa Fe | College of the Southwest | Eastern New Mexico University | New Mexico Highlands University |
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology | New Mexico Military Institute | New Mexico State University | St. John's College, Santa Fe |
University of New Mexico | Western New Mexico University