Exploring Old Town Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE | The architecture in Old Town Albuquerque is quite unique. Walking through the neighbourhood reminded me of when I first visited New Orleans. By that, I mean that it’s so different to anything you’ll find elsewhere in the United States.

The architectural style is Pueblo-Spanish, with flat-roofed buildings and soft contours of adobe, that mirror the Southwestern landscape. Old Town Albuquerque’s architectural heritage is protected, and the area looks very much like it did when it was built upon the city’s founding in 1706, as San Felipe de Neri de Alburquerque. Back then it was the main town linking Mexico City to the northernmost territories of New Spain.

Cantered around the plaza, as all Spanish new town were required to be at the time, Albuquerque’s Old Town comprises about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings. Red chillies hang from wooden ceilings, drying in the sun, while the many car-free thoroughfares help to create a relaxed, slow pace. The oldest building in the city, San Felipe de Neri Church, was built in 1793 and flanks the plaza beautifully.

Walking around, you’ll find over 100 independent boutiques, galleries, and eateries housed in Pueblo-Spanish buildings. Interestingly, many of the buildings in Old Town Albuquerque were built between 1870 and 1900, many with Victorian-style architecture. They were later remodelled in a Pueblo-Spanish style.

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