Santa Fe, NM: Oldest U. S. Capital

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Roadrunner--New Mexico State Bird

Oldest Church & House

Roadrunner--New Mexico State Bird

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These are photos of the oldest church and oldest house in the United States, located in Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico, USA.  Santa Fe also has the highest elevation, at 7,199 feet, of any state capital in the United States.

Oldest Church in the United States

The original adobe walls and altar of this church were built by Tlaxcala Indians, from Mexico, under the direction of Franciscan Padres, c1610.

Oldest House in the United States

This house is the last remnant of the Pueblo of Analco, which at one time occupied much of the area on the south side of the Santa Fe River.  Built of “puddled adobe,” this building is believed to be pre-Spanish.






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Zia 2 The “Roundhouse” Zia 2

This is a photo of the New Mexico State Capitol building in Santa Fe.

New Mexico State Capitol Building--the 'Roundhouse'

The state capitol building was dedicated on December 8, 1966.  Its design is a New Mexico territorial style.  This type of architecture is of Pueblo Indian adobe, an adaptation from the Greek revival period.  The capitol building forms the shape of the Zia Indian Sun Symbol, which appears on the state flag (see below).

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Zia 1 Zia Sun Symbol Zia 1

New Mexico State Flag with the Zia Symbol
New Mexico State Flag

New Mexico’s distinctive insignia, the Zia Sun Symbol, on the state flag, originated with the Indians of the Zia Pueblo in ancient times.  “Four” is the sacred number of Zia, and the figure is composed of a circle from which four points radiate outward.  These points, each made of four straight lines of varying length, personify the number most often used by “the Giver of all good gifts.”  To the Zia Indian, this sacred number is embodied in:

  • the earth, with its four directions,
  • the year, with its four seasons,
  • the day, with sunrise, noon, evening, and night, and
  • life, with its four divisions—childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age.

Everything is bound together in a circle of life and love, without beginning and without end.  The Zia believe, too, that in this great brotherhood of all things, man has four sacred obligations: he must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of his people.

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