Monday, January 12, 2009

Albuquerque's Old Town

Historic Old Town has been the heart of Albuquerque since the city was founded in 1706. The settlers organized their new town in the traditional Spanish colonial way, with a central plaza anchored by a church. When the original adobe church collapsed after the long, rainy summer of 1792, they rebuilt, and in 1793 San Felipe de Neri church was completed.

This adobe church with walls five feet thick is the oldest in Albuquerque and its white towers mark Old Town from a distance.

The historic heart of Albuquerque is Old Town Plaza, where pedestrians find a place to listen to entertainers perform in the gazebo or just watch others passing by.

Surrounding the church, the city's settlers had built their homes, shops and government offices, many of which have since been converted into the restaurants, art galleries and shops that comprise Old Town today.

We stopped in Access Old Town Basket and Rug Shop, but I just couldn't find the right color sombrero,

and the baskets were either too large or too small.

Buildings around the Old Town plaza and on the side streets are authentic adobes up to 300 years old, many built in Albuquerque's distinctive "Territorial Style" architecture combining traditional adobe building methods with Greek details.

The photo above and the one on the left show scenes from Church Street, which is just off the Plaza. Two people discuss the latest news at the entrance to the Church Street Cafe.

We are becoming very fond of the adobe style.

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