Historians believe the original San Ildefonso people abandoned their original villages at Mesa Verde and Bandelier due to drastic changes in the environment. It was on top of nearby Black Mesa, across the Río Grande from San Ildefonso that the pueblo held off Spanish soldiers during their reconquest of New Mexico in 1694.
Today, the pueblo is a flourishing art community with about 1,500 residents. It was the home of the late Maria Martinez, who along with her husband, Julian, developed the world-renowned, black-on-black pottery with black matte designs. Artisans’ homes throughout the pueblo are open to the public for shopping. The San Ildefonso Pueblo Museum, (505) 455-3549, also displays traditional crafts. With an average of 20,000 visitors each year, San Ildefonso is one of the most visited pueblos in the state.
Permits for non-commercial photography, sketching and recording are available, except during ceremonials, at the visitor’s center (505) 455-3549.
Unique Attractions: Annual Feast Day Dances: Annual Feast Day, Buffalo, Comanche, Deer Dances Firelight Procession (Eve.), Easter Sunday/Various Dances, Black Mesa, Pueblo Museum (Maria Martinez pottery)
Nearby Locations: Bandelier National Monument, Española, Los Alamos, Pojoaque, Nambé Pueblo, Pojoaque Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Santa Fe Opera, Tesuque Pueblo, White Rock
The pueblo is located 23 miles north of Santa Fe via US 84/285, then west on NM 502.