Thursday, May 19, 2016

Palace of the Governors

One place Bob and I have been eager to see Santa Fe's Palace of the Governors. Built in 1610, it was the seat of government for Spain's Nuevo Mexico in the New World, and America's oldest continually occupied public building. And when New Mexico was annexed as an American territory, the Palace became New Mexico's first territorial capitol. On Thursday we visited the Palace.

We arrived in time for a forty five minute, docent-led tour, that lasted an hour and a half (!) and gave us an in-depth look at New Mexico's early days. Our docent really knew her stuff and enjoyed what she did. One of the famous people who walked these halls was Billy the Kid, who was captured and held here until he escaped while visiting the latrine.
During the tour our docent introduced us to one of the security guards who happens to be the great grandson of Ezequiel de Baca, the first Lieutenant-Governor of New Mexico after becoming a state on January 6, 1912.
The Palace housed some very interesting exhibits, such as this "mud wagon," a real stagecoach used to bring settlers to the territory.
This is a fragment of a Jerga, woven in New Mexico and used as floor coverings and bedspreads. They were a major trade item to the rest of Mexico to the south.
The museum boasts a large collection of santos, likenesses of Spanish saints used in local churches. These santos were made by master craftsmen who worked in talleres, or workshops to produce these masterpieces.
 The chapel has been restored beautifully.
The residents of Nuevo Mexico had to be very resourceful, as supply trains only visited once every three years and Spain prohibited trade with anyone else. This violin was made of rawhide.
On the veranda of the Palace of the Governors was a jewelry fair with artisans presenting their wares. Bob and I walked around the Plaza and stopped into a chocolate shop for a truffle. Yum.
We returned home and I started working on this narrow band, consisting of a pickup pattern and woven on my Gilmore Inkle Lap Loom, precursor to the Mini Wave Loom. Every time I weave something on my Lap Inkle I fall in love with it again. It's too bad Gilmore stopped making them and I'm lucky to have one--Gilmore sold me the last one they had on their shelves, years ago.

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