More than 135 years ago, nuns walked the halls of this restored convent and opening their doors to Sandoval County children. Today, the convent has been painstakingly renovated and given all the modern amenities it needs to continue its purpose as a meeting place for all. With friendly staff, easy planning, and elegant scenery, El Zócalo Plaza and Event Center is a great place for any party or get together.
El Zócalo means "the meeting place." The historic 1874 convent was a place people in Bernalillo came to meet, learn, and exchange ideas. Today, its mission is the same.
With its thick adobe walls and brick floors warmly refurbished, the 1874 convent is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The courtyard outside, with its fountains and grassy areas, provides a focal point for the building.
The convent that is now El Zócalo was built on El Camino Real ("the Royal Road") for easy access to the people living, working and traveling by. El Camino Real follows the Rio Grande from the U.S./Mexico border to Santa Fe and for 300 years was the Southwest's main road for travelers. Portions of the road followed the Rio Grande Pueblo Indian Trail, in use since before the arrival of the first Spanish explorers.
Today, El Camino Real has the privileged distinction of being a National Scenic Byway. While you're bringing your guests to a historic venue, show them a little bit of the history that is surrounding them, bringing them to it via the El Camino Real.
Conveniently located near I-25 and Highway 550, El Zocalo is minutes from Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.