"The Palace of the Governors" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos


Constructed in 1610, the Palace of the Governors is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. From 1610 to 1966, it served as the seat of the various governments that have ruled over New Mexico.

The simple adobe building was ordered built by Pedro de Peralta, the governor of the Spanish colony of Nuevo México, a territory that covered most of what is now the southwestern United States, and included part or all of the present-day states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.

After the Mexican War of Independence, Santa Fe was retained as the capital of the new Mexican province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, and the Palace of the Governors was retained as the seat of the new provincial government.

The building also served as the first territorial capitol after New Mexico became an American territory in 1846. After statehood in 1912, the Palace of the Governors became the state capitol and remained so until 1966, when a new state capitol building was constructed nearby.

Nowadays, visitors can wander through the building, although there is not a lot of interest to see, other than the building itself. There is a good bookstore and gift shop inside which offers books about history and anthropology, as well as gifts and artwork. Navajo artisans also display pottery, blankets, and silver-and-turquoise jewelry under the portal that runs the length of the front of the building.

The Palace of the Governors has been designated a National Historic Landmark and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Directions: The Palace of the Governors is located at 105 West Palace Avenue, in downtown Santa Fe.

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  • Updated Dec 9, 2010
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