Sante Fe-Spanish for “Holy Faith”

Sante Fe-Spanish for “Holy Faith”

The city of La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís, or simply Santa Fe, NM, was first settled by Pueblo Indians in the mid 11th century. The first white settlement in the region was spearheaded by Spanish Governor Don Juan de Onate in 1598, but it would be his successor Don Pedro de Peralta who would establish Santa Fe as the capital of Spanish New Mexico in 1610. It has served almost continuously as the capital ever since.

The city’s population remained small up until the 20th century, partially due to its relatively remote location, and also because major railroads bypassed the city in the late 19th century. By the time New Mexico became a state in 1912, there were only 5,000 people in Santa Fe. That year city leaders established a plan for future growth, which included preserving historic structures and ensuring future construction stayed in harmony with the past. By the 1920s, artists began arriving in Santa Fe thanks to the rich culture of the area, and that culture is the city’s top draw for visitors and new residents today. Today the city has grown to nearly 70,000 people.