Sat 24 Jun 2017 02:52

Walking in the mountains was great, at least 10F cooler – around 91F, so very pleasant. Town again arty, with about 60 galleries. This town actually has a Dennis Hopper day.

No visit here is complete without a visit to the Unesco World Heritage site of Taos Pueblo, continuously inhabited for nearly 1000 years. Once this village was surrounded by a 15'-16'wall to protect against attacks from nomadic tribes such as the Apache. The wall is now a few feet high.

When the Spanish arrived looking for the 5 cities of gold (they had been misled, the colour was golden, there was no actual gold) they forced the Indians to convert to Catholicism and build a church. The Indians rebelled and managed to kick the Spanish out for 12 years and destroyed the church. When they returned the Spanish were only looking to settle in the area and a peaceful period ensued, with some Indians voluntarily converting and rebuilding the church.
The first US Governor, Bent, was a cruel man and the Spanish and Indians collaborated to assassinate him. The US cavalry responded by attacking the town. The elderly, women and children sought shelter in their church of St Jerome. US Cavalry records show they were barricaded into the church and cannons were fired to breach the wall and destroy the church, killing all inside. The slaughter didn't end there as they then also hung a number of the Chiefs.

The church was never rebuilt and was left as a cemetery.


The replacement church was built on a different site, but many Indians continue in their own spiritual practices, along with catholicism.

We today saw sthe same staggering spectacle as New Mexico's earliest Spanish explorers.