On a sunny, but chilly, day we went out to the Pecos National Historic Park, which is a historic pueblo ruin that was occupied for about 400 years. The saying "location, location, location" applied even then. The pueblo, situated at the Glorieta Pass in the Sangre de Christo mountains, overlooked the great planes to the east. This provided the natives control over east/west trade and the ability to see any enemy approaching long before they could reach the pueblo.
Notes taken from when Coronado's first Spanish expedition came through here in 1540, tell of the pueblo having more than 500 warriors and more than 2000 inhabitants. The Spanish returned in 1598, bringing missionaries and Catholicism with them.
Headquarters building where we enjoyed a picnic lunch at an outside patio (left)
The Great Planes to the east.
Excavations uncovered the remains of a wall that surrounded the outskirts of the pueblo. The path up to the ruins follow this reconstructed wall.
The local pueblo dump! Extensive mounds of trash were located on the site, giving archeologists the information they compiled about what life was like and how it changed over the years.
Pueblo "city" wall
What remains here is actually the second mission church built on this site. The shadow in the picture represents the outline of the original church. The first was burned in the Pueblo revolt of 1680. The Pueblo people rose up against the Spanish occupation, killing 400 and driving the remaining Spanish out of the area. The Spanish did return in 1692, again dominating the native people, and building a second church on this site. This is an interesting story, with lots of plots and sub plots, back and forth wins and losses for both sides. With the eventual dominance again by the Spanish, the natives were allowed a small measure of control of their lives and religion, but Catholicism and allegiance to the king predominated.
Inside, with a vent for outside air circulation, and a fire shield.
Ceiling. Most information about the Kiva indicate that it was used for religious purposes. Some sources indicate it may have also been for storage.
Ruins adjacent to the church. Small rooms were easier to heat
In addition to the Pueblo ruins, Pecos National Historical Park contains the land where the Battle of Glorieta Pass was fought during the Civil War. We booked a Ranger tour on Saturday to learn about that piece of history.