This charming plaza has been central to the community since Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez founded Albuquerque in 1706. Today, Old Town spans ten blocks of historic adobe buildings, many of which are occupied by galleries, boutiques, and souvenir shops. San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in Albuquerque dating to 1793, stands on the north side of the plaza. (The Roman Catholic parish has been active throughout the city’s 300-year history.)
Be sure to spend a few hours walking this historic quarter and browsing the shops. If you’d like a history briefing, join one of several tours offered by Tours of Old Town. The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History sits adjacent to Old Town. Each spring, the neighborhood hosts the Fiestas de Albuquerque, celebrating the city’s founding; each Christmas Eve, its paths glow with soft light from luminarias (paper bags with sands and a candle inside, also called farolitos).