Pecos Pueblo, between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, once served as a vital center of trade between the Pueblo peoples and the Great Plains nations. At one time, it had a population of more than 2,000.
The first known settlement in the area was around 1100. In the 1500's, the Spanish took an interest in the area, but the Pueblo delayed Spanish occupation for 50 years by convincing the Spanish that they could find gold to the east in the Great Plains. The Spanish did establish a permanent settlement at the Pueblo in 1598.
The arrival of the Spanish changed Pecos Pueblo forever. The Spanish destroyed the Pueblo’s religious symbols and a mission was constructed at the Pueblo in 1618. During the Pueblo Revolt, the Pueblo People burned down the mission and built a kiva. After re-taking New Mexico 12 years later, the Spanish re-built the mission in 1717.
Over time, the Pueblo’s population declined. By the time that the Santa Fe Trail was established in the 1820s, the Pueblo had few residents. The last remaining residents departed to Jemez Pueblo in 1838.
The remains of the Pueblo, the second church, and the kiva, are what remain at the Pecos National Historical Park.