"Old Town Albuquerque" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos

 
 

Old Town Albuquerque is a ten-block historic district in Albuquerque that dates back to 1706 when Spanish settlers founded the city. The district is characterized by narrow streets and alleyways, hidden courtyards, and abobe buildings grouped around a tree-shaded central plaza that was built in 1780. The north side of the plaza is dominated by the San Felipe de Neri Church, the first church built in Albuquerque.

Old Town Albuquerque originally served as the commercial center of the city. However, it began to decline in the 1880s after the railroad came to Albuquerque. Most of the businesses moved from the old town to be closer to the railway station, which was built some distance to the east of the old commercial center.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the old town became an artists' colony after local artisans began moving in and opening art galleries. This was the beginning of the area's revival. In the 1950s, most of the adobe buildings were restored in the Pueblo Revival style of architecture. Many of the buildings were converted into restaurants, art galleries, and souvenir shops.

Nowadays, Old Town Albuquerque is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Albuquerque. Tourists come to enjoy the charming atmosphere, eat in the restaurants, and shop in the district's 150 shops. Navajo artisans also display pottery, blankets, and silver-and-turquoise jewelry along the sidewalks lining the plaza.

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  • Updated Dec 7, 2010
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