Coronado Historic Site, Bernalillo

Coronado, New Mexico's first state historic site to open to the public, was dedicated on May 29, 1940, as part of the Cuarto Centenario commemoration (400th Anniversary) of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's entry into New Mexico. It is located along New Mexico Highway 550, 1 mile west of Bernalillo and 16 miles north of Albuquerque.Although it is named for Vasquez de Coronado, who camped in the vicinity in 1540–1542, this archeological site is most noted for the ruins of Kuaua pueblo. The pueblo or village was settled about 1325 and abandoned toward the end of the 16th century. Kuaua was one of several Tiwa-speaking pueblos in the area when the conquistador Vasquez de Coronado arrived, and the village was almost certainly abandoned due to the after effects of the Tiguex War (February 1541).The ruins of Kuaua Pueblo were excavated in the 1930s by an archeological team led by Edgar Lee Hewett and Marjorie F. Tichy (Lambert). The excavation revealed a south-to-north development over the village's three centuries of existence, as well as six kivas built in round, square and rectangular shapes. The site is particularly noted for a series of pre-contact (pre-1492) murals that were recovered from a square kiva in the pueblo's south plaza. These murals represent one of the finest examples of pre-contact Native American art to be found anywhere in North America. Fourteen of the restored murals are displayed in Coronado Historic Site's visitor center.
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Coronado Historic Site Reviews
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  • On our way through Albuquerque, NM to Durango, CO we passed by the Coronado Historic Site and had to stop in, best decision!! The history of this place is very fascinating! And the guided tour is even...  more »
  • We decided to visit on spur of the moment. The museum was interesting but our guide, Sheri brought the history of the place to like. Seeing the old paintings from the Kivas was awe inspiring. Gaining ...  more »
  • How many times have I been to Coronado Monument? Countless, spanning 28 years, and it is still such a joy. This time we had a very nice docent tour that lasted about 30 minutes and was well worth the ...  more »
  • Kuaua Pueblo has a nice small visitor's center at the entrance, and a trail around the archaeological site. The site dates from the early 1300s to the late 1500s. It may or may not have been visited by the Coronado expedition. Pluses - knowledgeable tour guides and you can climb down a ladder into a kiva that has copies of the original wall murals. Some of the original murals are in the visitor's center. Minuses - some 1930s era reconstructions at the south end of the pueblo, and using a European name for the site (which is Eurocentric and likely wrong) instead of the Native American name Kuaua Pueblo. Overall - excellent historic site, friendly staff, and we enjoyed seeing a kiva interior with the paintings.
  • The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. It is a wonderful example of Pueblo dwellings and culture.
  • Very very cool. Getting to go into the Kiva was really awesome. Great info given by tour guide.
  • What an awesome tour! Ranger Ethan is very knowledgeable & engaged in his tours. What an amazing history lesson. The park & museums are very clean & contain a ton of lore.
  • It was an awesome museum about the Pueblo people. The archeological work there is amazing. You can go into the Kiva! The guide was very knowledgable. Great for kids (hands-on) things. Small fee. Worth seeing.
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