Two of my favorite places to visit in Albuquerque on Christmas Eve are Old Town and Civic Plaza.
Old Town is approximately ten blocks of historic adobe buildings. Founded in 1706, it is centered around a central plaza. On the north side is the San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, which was built in 1793 and is Albuquerque’s oldest building. Around the church, settlers built their homes, businesses, and government offices. Over the years, those buildings have been converted to shops and restaurants.
Old Town is famous for its Pueblo-Spanish style architecture whose flat-roofed buildings and gentle curves of adobe reflect the Southwestern landscape. Long portals (porches) line the fronts of most buildings to provide shade from the New Mexican sun. Bancos (benches) were often built into the back walls of the portals to provide a place for people to sit. Old Town provides a sharp contrast to Civic Plaza.
Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza was built on two downtown blocks in 1972. It is a modern day incarnation of Old Town’s central plaza. Many events are held in the plaza year round. For Christmas, it is decorated with lights and hosts several holiday events.
Photo count: 17
Blog: Happy Holidays
Posted: December 28, 2011