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Vacationing at Villas de Santa Fe
An Autumn Getaway
Finding ourselves one November with both unused vacation time that was about to expire, as well as some timeshare points that were about to expire, my wife and I decided to take a quick vacation.
To keep expenses down we decided to go someplace nearby. But we also wanted to get away and visit someplace new and interesting.
Checking our timeshare options and a map we decided that Santa Fe, New Mexico would be a good choice. Not only had we not been there before but we also found a good timeshare deal and Santa Fe, according to Google Maps, was only an eight to nine hour drive from our home in Tucson.
Plaza in Old Santa Fe and a Few of its Famous Buildings
Villas de Santa Fe timeshare resort located at 400 Griffin St. in Santa Fe, NM
Palace of the Governors - Seat of NM Government from 1610, when the Spanish first built,until 1910. Spanish, Mexican & American governors ruled he
Mission Church built by Spanish in 1610.
The structure at 215 E. De Vargas Street, the alleyway opposite the side of San Miguel Mission, is claimed to be the oldest house in the United States
Chapel, completed in 1878 of the Loretto Academy for Young Women. Interior circular staircase was supposedly built by St. Joseph.
First Presbyterian Church located near the plaza in Old Santa Fe. Built in 1867, it is the oldest Protestant Church in New Mexico.
Villas de Santa Fe
Our timeshare not only turned out to be even better than it looked online (and it was very appealing online) but it was also located in the historic area adjoining the city’s historic plaza.
In fact, the historic plaza turned out to be only a short walk from the Villas de Santa Fe where we were staying.
This was great because, I am not fond of driving around strange cities trying to find parking places which are usually rare to non-existent in the center of older cities.
The plaza and area of the original city surrounding it is now preserved as a historic district that retains the quaint charm of the old Spanish colonial city. Even new structures, such as the Villas de Santa Fe, have to adhere to strict building and zoning regulations that require them to blend in with their surroundings.
The resort, while new and containing all the comforts of a resort, blends in nicely with the surrounding structures which range from old to quite new.
Simply walking around the neighborhood, gives a person a feeling of strolling into the past as does the short walk to the Plaza.
Touring the Plaza
Santa Fe was originally a small outpost on the northern fringe of Spain's New World empire. I have seen accounts of Americans first arriving there in the early to mid-nineteenth century and describing it as a busy trading center but also basically a dirty little village.
Today, the old buildings remain but the area has been cleaned up considerably. It is a very pleasant place to stroll around.
The plaza area itself is mostly old buildings dating from the early seventeenth century, such as the Governor's Palace which was built in 1610, to the later part of the nineteenth century, as exemplified by the Loretto Chapel built in 1878.
While there are many newer buildings the architecture of all of them retains the flavor of the old Spanish colonial trading village which was its image up until the twentieth century.
Many of the old buildings on the Plaza have been converted to modern shops but still retain the exterior look. And, this is not the first time the use of such buildings has changed as, over the course of as much as 4 centuries times and people change and building use changes as well.