A short drive from Albuquerque and Bernalillo, the Jemez National Historic Landmark is one of the most beautiful state historic sites in the Southwest. It includes stone ruins of a 500-year-old church dating to 1621 and the ancient village of Giusewa. The pueblo was built in the narrow San Diego Canyon by the ancestors of the present-day people of Jemez (Walatowa) Pueblo. A 1,400-foot interpretive trail winds through the impressive site ruins. The name Giusewa refers to the natural springs in the area.
In the 17th century, Spanish missionaries established a Catholic mission at the village. The massive stone walls were constructed about the same time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. However, this mission was short-lived, and the people abandoned the site and moved to the current location of Jemez Pueblo.
An adjacent heritage center contains exhibits that tell the story of the site through the words of the Jemez people.
Jemez is one of six state heritage sites administered by the New Mexico Historic Sites, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.