Taos Plaza dates to the late 1700s when the Don Fernando de Taos Land Grant was ceded to the settlers from the Taos Pueblo in 1796 by Don Fernando de Chacon, Governor of New Mexico.
Taos Plaza served for decades as the central meeting place in the valley and survived numerous fires that destroyed several older buildings. Most of the buildings around the Plaza are old; however, since Taos has always been plagued by fires, none of the Plaza's buildings predate the 19th century. The covered gazebo was donated by heiress and longtime Taos resident Mabel Dodge Luhan.
Taos Plaza has the distinction of being the first place in the United States, by tradition, to fly the United States Flag both day and night.
In 1861, Southern sympathizers repeatedly tore down the flag flying over the Plaza. Captain Smith Simpson with the help of Kit Carson, Ceran St. Vrain, and others nailed the flag to a tall cottonwood pole and raised it over the Plaza, with the threat that anyone who molested the flag would be shot.
To assure it was not torn down, the group went to St. Vrain's nearby store and took turns standing guard over the flag day and night. Since the flag was nailed to the cottonwood, it could not be lowered at dark.
When military officials in Santa Fe learned of the incident, they permitted Taos to fly the flag twenty-four hours a day. Congress later granted official permission to fly the flag at Taos Plaza round-the-clock, only one of a few places in the country to do so. (History courtesy of Wikipedia)
We enjoyed a delicious outdoor lunch just off the Plaza at the Bent Street Cafe, situated in a popular shopping street.
This whole area is a tourist shopping mecca, although as with many of these places you have to sort the chinese imports from the genuine articles!
Every side street is not only picturesque, but offers a good selection of shopping and eating choices, or just somewhere to rest weary feet!
There are some really gorgeous courtyard gardens with prestigious art galleries and jewelry stores overlooking them.
And every building in the town centre is constructed in the Adobe style of the area.
There are also colourful murals to catch the eye. We spent the afternoon soaking it all up and partaking of some shopping - perfection!
And at any given time the foothills of The Rockies are just a glance away.
Next week - the historic Adobe B&B we stayed in.