Santa Fe Travel Guide

Santa Fe Sights

The New Mexico History Museum

  • 113 Lincoln Ave. Map It
  • The Plaza
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/20/2016

Fodor's Review

This impressive, modern museum anchors a campus that encompasses the Palace of the Governors, the Palace Print Shop & Bindery, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, and Photo Archives (an assemblage of more than 1 million images dating from the 1850s). Behind the palace on Lincoln Avenue, the museum thoroughly explores the early history of indigenous people, Spanish colonization, the Mexican Period, and travel and commerce on the legendary Santa Fe Trail. Inside are changing and permanent exhibits. By appointment, visitors can tour the comprehensive Fray Angélico Chávez Library and its rare maps, manuscripts, and photographs (more than 120,000 prints and negatives). The Palace Print Shop & Bindery, which prints books, pamphlets, and cards on antique presses, also hosts bookbinding demonstrations, lectures, and slide shows. The Palace of the Governors is a humble one-story neo-Pueblo adobe on the north side of the Plaza, and is the oldest public building in the United

States. Its rooms contain period furnishings and exhibits illustrating the building's many functions over the past four centuries. Built at the same time as the Plaza, circa 1610, it was the seat of four regional governments—those of Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, and the U.S. territory that preceded New Mexico's statehood, which was achieved in 1912. It served as the residence for 100 Spanish, Mexican, and American governors, including Governor Lew Wallace, who wrote his epic Ben Hur in its then drafty rooms, all the while complaining of the dust and mud that fell from its earthen ceiling.

Dozens of Native American vendors gather daily under the portal of the Palace of the Governors to sell pottery, jewelry, bread, and other goods. With few exceptions, the more than 500 artists and craftspeople registered to sell here are Pueblo or Navajo Indians. The merchandise for sale is required to meet strict standards. Prices tend to reflect the high quality of the merchandise but are often significantly less than what you'd pay in a shop. Please remember not to take photographs without permission.

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  • Entrance, The New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

    <a href="">New Mexico History Museum</a> by

Sight Information


Palace Ave., north side of Plaza, 113 Lincoln Ave., west of the Palace, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501, USA

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $12
  • Nov.–Apr., closed Mon.

Published 03/20/2016


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