The taos town is an Indian settlement in northern New Mexico consisting of buildings, ceremonial facilities, and multi-story adobe dwellings built on staggered levels, collectively exemplifying the culture of the town's inhabitants from their origins.
This town is part of a series of settlements established between the late 13th century and the beginning of the fourteenth century in the valleys of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, which have survived to the present day.
Taos is in turn composed of three villas: the Ranchos de Taos, Don Fernando de Taos and the indigenous town of Saint Geronimo.
Thus, the town represents an important stage in the urban, community and cultural history of this region, as well as being a sign of its development.
Although it shows many similarities with other ancestral settlements that are preserved in nearby sites such as Cañón del Chaco, Taos and its culture is unique to this region.
Taos was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
The architecture of Taos
The main characteristic of Taos is found in its architecture. The town houses are made of adobe (a mixture of clay, sand and straw), being very different from what we usually find in other places and the main reason for receiving many visitors a year.
Taos comprises the walled town with two multi-storey adobe structures, seven kivas (underground ceremonial chambers), the ruins of a former village, a race track, the ruins of the first church built in the seventeenth century and the current church of San Gerónimo.
The town is an axisremarkable example of a traditional type of architectural ensemble from the pre-Hispanic period of the AmericasIt is unique in this region and that, due to the living culture of its community, has successfully preserved most of its traditional ways to this day.
Taos is authentic in location and environment, forms and designs, materials, uses and functions, as well as in spirit and feeling.
Maintenance of the village
The adobe buildings They require regular maintenance that is still carried out by the inhabitants following the original standards, and although it is possible to find some doors and sales with a European-style frame that were introduced in the 20th century, they are still limited on a large scale, allowing them preserve its authenticity.
The community maintains controls to protect their traditions, including the prohibition within the walled area to enter electrical power lines and piped water supply.
However, a growing number of Taos residents have homes outside of the walled city.
Within the potential threats to the authenticity of the Taos people We find the growth of the nearby municipality, which exerts pressure for its modernization; the impact of tourism and environmental stresses such as fires, droughts and floods.
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