Taos Plaza is the Heart of Taos. This is the center of the Taos Historic District where locals gather for Taos Plaza Live concerts, May through October and visitors enjoy the shops and galleries that surround the Plaza all year long.
The original Spanish settlement of scattered farms evolved in Taos Valley about 1615. But in 1680, the settlers were driven out by the Pueblo Revolt. Spanish authority was not reestablished until 1696 with the reconquest by Don Diego de Vargas. The area was firmly resettled by 1710. In 1796 the Don Fernando de Taos Land Grant was given to 63 families by the King of Spain. This resulted in the establishment of the current Taos Plaza and surrounding community. Don Fernando de Taos became the most important settlement in the area outside of the ancient San Geronimo de Taos Pueblo two miles to the north. Homes were built in large quadrangles, thus offering a fortress-like structure. Hostile raiding Indians from outside the Taos area were thwarted in their attempts to enter the village. Sentries stationed at the corners of the fortified village kept vigil day and night. A huge gate offered the only means of entry and exit to and from the Plaza. The enclosure served as a refuge for livestock at night, and merchants displayed their wares there during trade fairs. Over the years, there were many fires within the Plaza and many buildings were lost and rebuilt. Because the buildings were contiguous, a fire in one usually spread to others. The character of the present structures around the Plaza dates from the 1930s.
Today the current Plaza, with its many shops and galleries, is a natural gathering place for locals and visitors alike.