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World Heritage Site #105: Taos Pueblo

World Heritage Site #105: Taos Pueblo

World Heritage Site #105: Taos Pueblo

From the World Heritage inscription:

Situated in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande, this Pueblo Indian settlement, consisting of adobe dwellings and ceremonial buildings, exemplifies the enduring culture of a group of the present-day Pueblo Indians. It is one of a group of settlements established in the late 13th and early 14th centuries in the valleys of the Rio Grande and its tributaries that have survived to the present day and constitutes a significant stage in the history of urban, community and cultural life and development in this region. Pueblo de Taos is similar to the settlements in the Four Corners area of the Anasazi, or ancient Pueblo people at such places as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, and continues to be a thriving community with a living culture.

Taos Pueblo is by far the most unique World Heritage site I’ve ever visited and perhaps the most unique in the world. Unlike most cultural attractions it is not an historical ruin; it is a living community. The people who live in the pueblos forgo plumbing and electricity and cook in traditional mud ovens. The adobe is resurfaced every year to combat damage done by the elements.

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  1. I’m so glad to see the pueblo featured here! I live in Taos (when I’m not roadtripping around the U.S.), and it’s such a beautiful place to come home to. If you get a chance, go to the pueblo on Christmas Eve – it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. A procession for the Lady of Guadalupe, enormous bonfires sending smoke and flame into the sky, random rifle shots (also into the sky, natch), and the whole community comes out for it. It feels almost primeval.

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