The oldest and most continuously occupied city in the state of Colorado is the city of San Luis, established around April 9, 1851. Today, San Luis is a city with about 625 residents.

Settlers followed the Old Spanish Trail up from Mexico and established a series of villages in the Rio Culebra in the San Luis Valley. The Sangre de Cristo Land Grant made it possible to develop the community of San Luis de la Culebra in honor of Saint Louis. The United States government then built Fort Massachusetts (1852) and Fort Garland (1858) to protect the people who lived there.

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Where is the City of San Luis, Colorado?

San Luis, Colorado is located in the San Luis Valley in Costilla County. The town rests near the Colorado and New Mexico border and is located about 15 miles down Highway 159 from the Fort Garland site. The city is 18 miles from the state line.

The Timeline of San Luis, Colorado

Early settlers and the United States army made up the majority of the people in the area which was part of New Mexico until Colorado became a territory in 1861. San Luis became the county seat. and once Colorado became a state, San Luis was incorporated in 1865.

What is the Stations of the Cross Shrine in San Luis?

The Shrine of the Stations of the Cross is a popular destination when visiting Colorado's oldest town. The shrine statues were built in the 1980s by artist Huberto Maestas who lived in San Luis. His former studio can still be found in San Luis.

Scroll on to learn 25 facts about the city of San Luis and the Stations of the Cross Shrine.

25 Facts You May Not Have Known About Colorado's Oldest City

Learn 25 things about Colorado's oldest and longest-inhabited city, San Luis. Located in Costillo County in the San Luis Valley, the town of San Luis was incorporated in 1885. San Luis is also home to the Stages of the Cross Shrine dedicated in 1990.

MORE: Take a Look at the Oldest Cities in America

Though the United States doesn’t have as long of a history as some Old World countries, it still has plenty of historical charm. Stacker brings you a list of the 50 oldest cities in America.

KEEP GOING: See 10 of Colorado's Oldest & Best Restaurants

The next time you visit a restaurant, why not incorporate a little Colorado history into your dining experience. These are some of the oldest restaurants in the great state of Colorado.

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