Giusewa

Looking across the stone footings marking where the Towa pueblo of Giusewa stood 400 years ago
The ruins of Giusewa
Looking through the thick adode entryway into the mission church at Giusewa
Entryway to San Jose de Los Jemez Mission

Giusewa was a village in the Jemez Mountains, built alongside what is now the Jemez River. The word Giusewa means hot springs and they are located just a few yards away. Construction of the pueblo began sometime around 1560 and reached a peak in 1621 when the Spanish Franciscan fathers forced the people to stop everything else and build the San Jose de Los Jemez mission. The mission was finished in 1623 but then there were more things that just had to be built for the good fathers...

The people pushed back every step of the way until the 1680 Pueblo Revolt took place. The Towa took out every Spanish person in their neighborhood and then a large mass of warriors headed for Santa Fe to get rid of the rest. They succeeded in doing that, for 12 years, but the hated Spanish came back in force in 1692. Don Diego de Vargas traveled around visiting every pueblo he could find to swear them to allegiance with the King of Spain and the Catholic Church. Giusewa had been completely abandoned by then, some of the people moving up the hill and deeper into the forest with others moving south into the canyon where Walatowa is today.

At its height, Giusewa had about 200 rooms in 5 blocks. There were also 2 kivas. Portions of the pueblo have been reconstructed. The most imposing structure still standing is the mission church. Built of limestone, sandstone, volcanic tuff and mud plaster, the walls of the mission are between 6 and 7 feet thick. Portions of it have been stabilized to limit erosion. Nearby is another large structure, probably built to house the priest when he came to visit.

Looking across the stone footings marking where the Towa pueblo of Giusewa stood 400 years ago
More of the ruins of Giusewa
Inside the walls of the mission San Jose de Los Jemez
Inside the walls of the San Jose de Los Jemez Mission

Sites of the Ancients and approximate dates of occupation: