Taos is a destination for people from far and wide, and from all different walks of life, for a very good reason. Its location, climate, and cultural and artistic heritage combine to create a place unlike any other on the planet.
The story of Taos begins—and continues today—with Taos Pueblo. Continuously inhabited for nearly 1000 years, Taos Pueblo was a center of trade between other Pueblo groups and Plains Natives to the north and east before the arrival of European settlers. Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1540 on their quest for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, and the town of Don Fernando de Taos was established around 1615. Initially amicable relations between the Natives and Spanish soured, leading to revolts in 1640 and 1680.
The town of Taos began to grow in the late 1700s with the construction of a fortified square that eventually became today’s Taos Plaza, and the town continued to expand with the arrival of European trappers and ranchers soon after.
Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, one year after the famed Taos Revolt. New Mexico became a U.S. territory in 1850 and a state in 1912.
Around this time, artists began to settle in the area, drawn by the light, the colors, and the Native cultural traditions. The Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915, sowing the seeds of more than a century of artistic inspiration and expression in Taos.
Today, not only is the artistic community alive and well, so are the frontier spirit and the vibrant multiculturalism that make Taos the fascinating and rich place it is.