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Date of visit:
September 25, 2000

For location of this site in NM, click on the map:
 Location of Acoma Pueblo, NM ...

We rate this site a:

Site Highlights:
 Immense valley
 Restricted access
 Guided tours only
 Modest entry fee
 Camera fee
 High on mesa
 Walk the pueblo
 Many vendors
 Spectacular views
 Photo opportunities
 Layered cemetary
 Historic church
 Learn Acoma history
 Walk old stairs

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NOTE: Because no digital cameras are allowed within the Acoma Pueblo, the images presented on this entire page are scanned from our Nikon 35mm-film prints.
Acoma Pueblo - The Sky City
Entering the City

This way to the top

Are you kidding?
Starting the tour

An introduction to Acoma
Francisco Vaques de Coronado's army visited Acoma in the year 1540 and became the first white man to enter Sky City.

He described Acoma as:

"One of the strongest ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock. The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top. The houses are three and four stories high. The people are of the same type as those in the province of Cibola (Zuni) and they have abundant supplies of maize, beans and turkeys like those of New Spain. (Minge 1976:4)

Many people consider the location of Sky City as an ideal site for defense against enemies.

The oral heritage of Acoma tells of the origin and migration of Acoma people in search of HaK’u. Acoma (pronounced either eh-Ko-Ma or Ah-Ko-Ma) is derived from the Keresan word Hak’u. It was prophesied from the beginning that there existed a place ready for the people to occupy.

HaK’u means in a sense to prepare or plan.

Recently, archaeologists theorized the occupation of Acoma to A.D. 1150.

The Enchanted Mesa
The Enchanted Mesa
The Enchanted Mesa
A huge monolith stands a few miles East of Acoma and has been commonly identified by many visitors as "Enchanted Mesa." It is known as such because of the awe that it creates. Enchanted Mesa stands approximately 400 feet above the surrounding plain.
[ The Legend of the Mesa ]
San Esteban Del Rey Mission
The Mission
San Esteban Mission
Like the Pueblo, San Esteban del Rey Mission rests on a 70-acre site of the massive sandstone mesa, which rises 367 feet above the valley and approximately 7,000 feet above sea level.

The mission built in 1629 was under the direction of Friar Juan Ramirez and completed in 1640. The building of the mission restituted peace after a three-day baffle occurring in December of 1598 between the Acomas and Vicenti de Zaldivar's Spanish troops.

This incident isolated common interests for quite sometime thereafter. According to legend, Friar Juan gained entry to Acoma when he saved an infant from a fall off the edge as he approached the mesa. His delivery of the child back to the mother was considered a miracle.

Many interesting features of the mission can be seen. A previous settlement rested in the area now occupied by the mission. The establishment of the mission represents a tremendous amount of toil. All building materials were hand carried or hauled up the steep slopes of the mesa. Most remnants contained within the mission date between the mid-1600s to the latter 1800s. Both the mission and the pueblo have been proclaimed National Historic Landmarks.

Frequently Asked Questions ...
Site Gallery 1- The Approach to Acoma
Approaching Acoma Approaching Acoma Approaching Acoma
Approaching Acoma Approaching Acoma Approaching Acoma
Site Gallery 2 - The City
The City The City The City
The City The City The City
The City The City The City
The City The City The City
The City The City The City
The City The City The City
The City  Acoma Pueblo:
A One Thousand Year Old
City in the Sky.
For More Information
Discover Grants, NM

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