Taos is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Initially founded in 1615, it was intermittently occupied until formally established in 1795 by Nuevo México Governor Fernando Chacón to act as fortified plaza and trading outpost for the neighboring Native American Taos Pueblo (the town's namesake) and Hispano communities, including Ranchos de Taos, Cañon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, El Prado, and Arroyo Seco. The town was incorporated in 1934. As of the 2010 census, its population was 5,716.
Taos is the county seat of Taos County. The English name Taos derives from the native Taos language meaning "(place of) red willows".
Taos is the principal city of the Taos, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Taos County.
The Taos Pueblo, which borders the north boundary of the town of Taos, has been occupied for nearly a millennium. It is estimated that the pueblo was built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., with some later expansion, and the pueblo is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States.
Located in a tributary valley off the Rio Grande, it is the most northern of the New Mexico pueblos. The pueblo, at some places five stories high, is a combination of many individual homes with common walls.