Taos Pueblo (or in Spanish as Pueblo de Taos) is an ancient pueblo Taos-speaking site. Taos-speaking people here belong to the Tiwa Native American tribe of the Puebloan people. Taos Pueblo is unique within the United States, it is the only living Native American community to be designated both a UNESCO site and a National Historic Landmark.

Another major Pueblo attraction is that of the Cliff Palace of the Ancestral Pueblo - the largest cliff dwelling in the USA. Alternatively, visit the Pecos Pueblo and discover the rich history of this ancient Pueblo trading community.

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The Uniqueness Of Taos Pueblo

The Taos Pueblo is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities within the United States. The Taos Pueblo belongs to the Eight Northern Pueblos.

  • Location: About 1 Mile North of Taos, New Mexico

The Taos Pueblo's most notable architectural feature is a multi-storied residential complex of reddish-brown adobe. According to the Pueblo's website, it was probably constructed somewhere between 1000 and 1450. They also state that it has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years.

Today the buildings appear much the same way they did when the Spanish first arrived in 1540. The Spanish explorers thought that the Pueblo was one of the fabled golden cities of Cibola.

The Pueblo is more like an apartment building. It is built of individual homes built side by side in layers. They have common walls, but there are no connecting doorways. Some of the design has changed over the years. In the past, there were no doorways - or windows. One had to enter from the top.

  • Designated: Taos Pueblo Is A Designated UNESCO World Heritage Site Since 1992
  • Built Of: They Are Built Entirely Out of Abode Earth Mixed With Water and Straw With Roofs Supported by Large Timber Beams

The outside surfaces of the Pueblo are in need of continuous maintenance and are maintained by being replastered with thick layers of mud. The interior walls are carefully coated with white earth to keep them clean and bright.

The Taos Pueblo is built in a stunning setting with the backdrop of the Taos Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Related: Circa 1610: This Is The Oldest Building Standing In The U.S.

The People Of Taos Pueblo

It may seem strange today, but there is much that we don't know about these American citizens. They almost never speak of their religious customs to outsiders and their language has never been written down. Much of their culture remains largely unknown to the outside world.

They say on their website "The people of Taos Pueblo have a detailed oral history which is not divulged due to religious privacy."

  • Respect: It is Asked That Visitors Treat the Village With The Same Respect One Would Show Being The Guest In anyone's Home

These pueblos have around 95,000 acres today in tribal land in which around 4,500 people live.

  • Population: Around 150 Pueblo Live In The Historical Pueblo Full time

Visiting The Taos Pueblo

As of the time of writing Taos Pueblo is closed to the public because of the ongoing pandemic. They ask all visitors to refrain from visiting or even coming within sight of the village area in an effort to protect their communities. Ordinarily, visitors are welcome, they state "We welcome you to visit our village when you travel to Northern New Mexico."

Opening Hours (Suspended During the Pandemic):

  • Monday to Saturday: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm
  • Sunday: 8.30 am to 4.00 pm

Admission:

  • Adults: $16 Per Person
  • Groups (8 or more Adults): $14 per person\
  • Seniors & Students: $14 per person
  • Children: Free (10 and under)

While guests are welcome to take photos while visiting, there are rules and regulations that apply. All photos are for personal use only and commercial, educational, documentary, and artist renderings must have prior approval and. Fees apply - inquire within the Tourism Office.

Note: They Forbid Taking Pictures of Tribal Members Without Permission

Related: To Visit The Site Of The Oldest Church In The U.S., You'd Need To Go To New Mexico

Visit On Festive Days

When planning one's visit to the Taos Pueblo, consider timing one's visit with a festival. Visitors are invited to many of their festivals - like the Annual San Geronimo Feast Day. Visitors are welcome to come and share in the day of family, friends, and feast.

Traditionally the feast day was a trade fair for visitors near and far. In the morning one can see the festivities, afterward, there is an open market where one can purchase homewares. The afternoon is a joyous time of laughter as the Koshare greets the community for the remainder of the day.

  • Koshare: No Written Term In the Tiwa Language and "Sacred Clowns" For Want Of a Better Translation in English
  • Recording: This Is A Scared Occasion An No Recording Is Permitted. All Cell Phones and Cameras are Forbidden and Will be Confiscated

Other events include the Turtle Dance on 1 January, Deer or Buffalo Dance on 6 January, Procession of the Virgin Mary on 24 December, Deer or Matachina Dance on 25 December, and more. See their events page for updates and schedules.

Next: These Are The Oldest Landmarks You Can Visit In The US