Visiting the Coronado Monument on our #USroadtrip

So, our #USroadtrip has officially begun! As someone who usually travels on public transport, I have pretty quickly discovered that one of the best things about having your own car is that you can stop to have a nose at something whenever you feel like it.

On our way from Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe we kept passing signs for the Coronado Monument. We had no idea what it was and couldn’t find anything about it in our guidebook, so we decided to pull off to check it out.

And I’m so glad we did.

What we discovered was the remains of the pueblo of Kuaua, an American Indian settlement which was built in the 1300s. During the late 1930s archaeologists unearthered the remains of around 1,200 houses at the site.

Coronado Mounment

A room with a view

For just a $3 entrance fee, we were able to walk around the former settlement which was built right next to the beautiful Rio Grande.

Coronado Monument

Love in the desert…

Coronado Monument

…although obviously not from these guys!

Houses in the village would have been built on a number of levels, which were used for different activities, ranging from cooking to sleeping. We had the opportunity to climb down into a reconstructed kiva (a ceremonial chamber) and learn a little more about the very private ceremonies which would have gone on there.

Climbing down into the cool kiva provided welcome relief from the boiling sun

Climbing down into the cool kiva provided welcome relief from the boiling sun

In the centre’s small museum we also got the chance to view some of the original murals which had been discovered inside the kiva and are considered to be some of the finest examples of Pre-Columbian art ever found in the United States.

It was amazing to think that the entire community had been built from the earth on the site – with no mortar to hold the bricks together.

Coronado Monument

A unique building technique

It is my first visit to New Mexico so it was fascinating to be able to learn a little about its history within hours of arriving in the state.

Roll on the rest of the road trip!


8 responses to “Visiting the Coronado Monument on our #USroadtrip

  1. Wow, you’re on the road! I love road tripping it opens up a much more spontaneous way of travelling. We’d love to road trip North America, your posts are going to inspire a future trip I’m sure!
    The scenery looks incredible!

  2. Very very true what you say about having your own car when travelling. You can stop along the way and find some little gems 🙂
    Can’t wait to read more about your road trip!

    • It’s the first time I’ve ever done a road trip and I absolutely loved being able to stop whenever we fancied it. We discovered so many weird and wonderful places along the way:)

  3. This is why me and Alex loved our road trip along South Africa’s Garden Route so much…we could just stop whenever and wherever we wanted and we came across some brilliant places that way. This looks like a brilliant find!

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