Taos Plaza is the heart of the city. It’s where you go when you want to be near people, see beautiful art, eat fine food, and participate in the local community. I have done each of those things and would happily do continue doing them.
The Plaza is in the middle of Taos Historic District, where locals gather for Saturday Markets, concerts and other events. The whole of the Plaza is made up of various buildings around a central square. One of the delights of the square and the buildings is the architecture.
This is a great place to begin your tour of the Pueblo architecture of northern New Mexico. The adobe buildings are made from a mixture of sand, clay, straw, and water. The basic structure of Pueblo architecture includes adobe walls and a flat roof with wood beams, rounded edges on walls, stucco surfaces, and wood frame windows. Taos is a great place to take it all in and participate in frequent architecture tours.
Many years ago, they say a huge gate was the only way you could enter the Plaza, but now it is open for all.
There are many shops, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants in and around the Plaza and it is where you’ll find all the action for miles.
Here you will find local southwestern shops selling many items. Beadwork, Native American collectibles and candles, clothing, and natural products abound. The galleries each sell art from local artists as good as you’ll find in any museum. Many of the galleries are staffed by the artists themselves, giving you a chance to not only purchase art but learn about specific techniques and maybe even the creative vision for how it came to be. There are not too many places on Earth where you can do that.
You’ll also find some popular New Mexico packaged foods for sale to like chile powder and piñon nuts. Many products in and around the Plaza include piñon nuts. You may be more familiar with the term “Pine nuts,” also called pinoli or pignoli. They are the edible seeds of pines.
One thing you’ll see in abundance in the Plaza, both on display and for sale, are chile ristras. Chile ristras are the strung bunches of dried red chiles. They are a symbol of welcome that you see hung near arches, doors and windows all over New Mexico.
Other items you’ll find around the Plaza are southwestern hand-made clothing and leatherwork, jewelry and tin and wood items, pottery, ceramics and more.
On Saturday, the Plaza fills with vendors cooking food, selling plants and baked goods, lotions and many other items. There is also live music and a festive atmosphere worth a visit.
Learn more about the Taos Plaza at: taos.org/taosplaza.com