History

Old Town Albuquerque - From the Beginning

Old Town has been the focal point of Albuquerque’s community life since it was founded in 1706 by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés. Centered around the plaza, Old Town encompasses about 10 blocks of historic adobe buildings. On the north side of the plaza is the San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793 and one of the oldest buildings in the city. Surrounding the mission church, the city’s settlers built their homes, shops, and government offices, many of which are now converted into the restaurants, art galleries, and shops that comprise Old Town today.

Old Town looks much like it did when it was built centuries ago. Its Pueblo-Spanish style architecture with flat-roofed buildings and soft contours of adobe mirror the Southwestern landscape. Long portales (porches) line the front of most buildings and offer shade from the New Mexican sun. Bancos (benches) are often built into the back walls of the portales, providing the perfect place for weary walkers to sit and watch the world go by.

For almost three centuries, Old Town has been the crossroads of the Southwest. It is the Historical District of the City of Albuquerque and home of many families whose ancestors founded the town.