Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Weekend Explorer
Destinations Travel Planner Original Music Meet the host
Home Episode Description Air times Buy the video Contacts Us

The founding of one of America’s oldest cities

What was founded first Santa Fe, New Mexico or Plymouth, Massachusetts?

Answer; Santa Fe, New Mexico, but you probably guessed that since this page is about Santa Fe.



Santa Fe was founded in 1607 a number of years before the pilgrims founded Plymouth. Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States.

In 1610, Don Pedro de Peralta, the third governor of the newly

established Spanish colony of Nuevo Mexico, built the furthest north outpost in a series of forts and missions built to convert Pueblo Indians to Catholicism. Here the fort was called La Villa de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis translated from Spanish as The Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi . It was originally a simple fortress design with a central plaza, where livestock would be driven during times of attack. Sixty of New Mexico’s governors ultimately would rule from this single story adobe fortress over a period of 300 years by successively the Spanish, Pueblo Indians, Mexicans and then the U.S. Territorial Governments . This fortress would become known as the Palace of the Governors, while the town became know simply as Santa Fe. Santa Fe means “Holy Faith”. It is often referred to as a “City Different”, and that it definitely is.

Sponsored by Nikon Corporation Weekend Explorer
Home | Destinations | Travel Planner | Original Music | Meet the host | Awards
Episode Descriptions | Air Times | Buy the video | Contact Us | Site Credits | BPTV