Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Road trip - day 4

We arrived in Santa Fe last night and spent today seeing the sites.

Santa Fe (La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís to use the full name which translates as Royal City of the Holy Faith of St Francis of Assisi) was established by the Spanish in 1610 and the locals have done a wonderful job of preserving its unique architecture. But I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.

The uniformity of the architecture, while superficially appealing, is so obviously imposed (through a strict enforcement of what is known as the Spanish Pueblo Revival style), and the city is so focused on tourism (personally, I can only look at so many art galleries), that there's a certain lack of authenticity that makes the place feel a little too much like a theme park. Although the stuff that was built when this style was original, like the San Miguel Mission, is beautiful.

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