Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Bandelier National Monument is a 33,677-acre National Monument in New Mexico preserving remains of homes of the Ancestral Pueblo People. Human presence in this area can be traced back 10,000 years but permanent settlements in Bandelier date from two time periods – 1150 to 1600 CE (common era). By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo).

Bandelier was established as a National Monument by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and now receives close to 200,000 visitors each year. The Rustic Style visitor services buildings at the monument were built during the 1920’s and 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and are the largest group of CCC-built structures in a National Park area. Los Alamos, New Mexico is the closest town and the monument was closed to the public for several years during WWII so it could serve as private housing for Manhattan Project Scientists and military personnel developing the atom bomb.

My last visit to this canyon was 8 years ago and I wish I had a few photos of the CCC buildings to share but looking through my files today reminds me I was more interested in capturing the cliff dwellings and remains of Kivas on the ground.  If I have the opportunity to return I’ll be sure to expand my range and explore the more recent structures too.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abandoned

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41 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the info Meghan! The renderings I’ve seen show very basic round structures with a hole at the top to enter by ladder and to let smoke out but I would love to know what they were really like in the original setting.


  1. Bandelier was my first stop on a Southwest vacation years ago. My friends and I were lucky to be the only people there on a misty day. Thanks for rekindling the memory–what a mystical place!


    1. I’m glad you got to see it when it was quiet D’Arcy. We were the only people there too during this visit. It wasn’t misty but a thunder storm was coming in and it was almost possible to imagine what it felt like to be there 1,000 years ago.


    1. Thanks Sally, it was a great experience to climb up into the cliff houses too. All that is left is the chiseled out interior spaces but standing in the doorways and looking at the same rocky view was an amazing moment.


  2. Great post. We had a chance to visit here a few years back and really enjoyed it. I couldn’t help but stand still and listen to the wind, trying to picture what it was like back-in-the-day.


    1. Oh yes, listening to the wind and thinking what it was like to live in such isolation was really one of the standout moments from our visit too. It’s nice to know we have a shared memory from this place Allan.


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