With its incomparable view of the Sandia Mountains and setting on the banks of the Rio Grande, it’s no wonder the Kuaua Pueblo people chose to live here. But numerous other mysteries remain—and ongoing research is yielding new information about what happened here. When Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his army entered this region in 1540, they were searching for Seven Cities of Gold. What they found were a dozen villages inhabited by farmers who spoke Tiwa and whose ancestors had already carved out centuries of life here. Kuaua held around 1,200 people when Coronado arrived. Within a century, the site was abandoned.
Today, a visitor’s center designed by John Gaw Meem serves as both an interpretive center and gathering place for speakers and the annual Fiesta of Cultures. An interpretive trial winds through the reconstructed pueblo remains and carries visitors to the bank of the Rio Grande.
For decades, Coronado Historic Site’s premiere draw was the kiva with its reconstructed murals. In recent years, partnerships with neighboring pueblos has resulted in archaeological digs that have invited visitors to take part in the work—and in the discoveries. The bonds that were crafted during these projects will be expanded upon in coming years to deepen our understanding of the site’s ancient inhabitants and nuance how we tell their stories today. With the Campaign for New Mexico History, Coronado Historic Site will:
This structure will help preserve the excavations while also highlighting the archaeology beneath your feet.
This 360-degree digital theatre will allow the public to experience the murals of Kuaua Pueblo’s painted kiva—especially those visitors whose mobility issues don’t permit them to climb the ladders into and out of the kiva.
These will help highlight the history of the Camino Real Tierra de Adentro, Coronado Battleﬁeld Site, and animal and plant species native to the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
This will expand the site’s outdoor amenities, enabling more visitors to attend a greater number of special events and outreach activities.
How many canoes and rafts pass by Coronado? With a small dock, we will enable visitation by boat.