Nestled at an altitude of 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe with a population of 68,000 is the oldest continuously inhabited capital city of the 50 states. This sense of history, along with its multicultural heritage of Native American, Hispanic, and Northern European, unique adobe architecture, and four-season climate with predominately blue skies and sunny weather, makes the city an increasingly appealing site to begin one’s career.
The world-renowned Santa Fe Opera highlights a performance-packed summer of cultural events. The Santa Fe Ski Basin, just minutes from downtown, caters to winter sports enthusiasts. Each season provides an invigorating selection of outdoor sports and recreation. Above all, visitors to Santa Fe and the surrounding areas in northern New Mexico usually comment that this place possesses a special spiritual aura that catches the soul of the visitor and does not let go.
City at a Glance
One of the city's oldest examples of this style is the Palace of the Governors.
Climate and Geography
Santa Fe is located at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the southern end of the Rockies) has an annual rainfall of about 14 inches. Snow is typical in winter, with an annual average of 32 inches, averages 300 days of sunshine each year and is a high altitude city at 7,000 feet above sea level with nearby mountains reaching above 12,000 feet.
Outdoors at Hand
The city's longest park parallels portions of the 46-mile-long Santa Fe River. Nature trails and preserves abound at the northern and eastern edges of town. There is the Davey Audubon Center on Upper Canyon Road, walking trails which are popular among birdwatchers, with some 140 species nesting on the land. The Dale Ball trail system offers more challenging routes into the Sangre de Cristo range as does the 7-mile roundtrip route on the Atalaya Mountain. Hyde Park offers a network of roadside trails and campgrounds for both tent and RV camping. The city's new Railyard Park & Plaza has become a lively, casual community meeting place, much like the original Plaza.
Santa Fe's epicenter has always been the downtown Plaza. For four centuries it has served as its nexus cuturally, politically and socially. The Palace of the Governors, constructed soon after the Plaza was established, is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U. S. There is also the Oldest House, built around 1612, is possibly the oldest structure in the nation, which shares an alley with San Miguel Chapel, billed as the country's oldest church. The mission was built sometime between 1600 and 1646, with parts of an abandoned Pueblo - dating back to 1100 and still existing on the site at the time of construction - incorporated into the church structure.
The New Mexico State Capitol, the Roundhouse, was completed in 1966 and named for its unique circular shape. The building was designed to resemble the state's Zia symbol when viewed from the sky.