Taos, New Mexico, situated in the north central region of New Mexico, got its name from a phrase in the indigenous Tiwa language meaning “place of the red willows.” In 1540, Spanish explorers searching for the fabled “Seven Cities of Gold” came upon the Taos Pueblo, a cluster of adobe dwellings, some five stories tall, that have housed the Tiwa for more than 1,100 years and constitute the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. Following Spanish conquest, a settlement grew, and the mission church of St. Francis of Assisi was built, which still stands today. At first relations between the Spanish and the Natives were amicable, however with the resentment of meddling by missionaries, the relations deteriorated, this would eventually lead to the 1680 pueblo revolt. With continuing tensions, adobe fortifications erected at the town’s center in 1796, which is now known as the Taos Plaza. American acquisition of New Mexico in 1847 triggered yet another insurrection at Taos. The region achieved territorial status in 1850, with Taos becoming known as the home of western scout Kit Carson. At the turn of the 19th century the town’s blend of native pageantry and Spanish tradition began attracting artists and writers, including D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather and Georgia O’Keeffe. They would draw inspiration from the natural beauty of Taos. The mountains are rugged and beautiful. The nearby Rio Grande Gorge which descends about 800 feet, offers incredible rafting. Taos remains a vibrant center of creative expression, cultural diversity and is rich with spiritual traditions.