House Of Many Windows ~ Mesa Verde National Park
The House Of Many Windows Overlook is located near the Hemenway House Overlook on Chapin Mesa. Both of these ancient pueblos are on the far wall of Cliff Canyon on the edge of the Ute Mountain Reservation. The sheer vertical wall of Cliff Canyon towers over the small valley below and there are several large ledges just below the canyon rim. On these high ledges are several cliff dwelling pueblos and some are difficult to spot without taking some extra time to take a good look. The House Of Many Windows is the largest cliff dwelling structure on the other side of the canyon and it is fairly easy to spot with the naked eye, but Cliff Canyon is about one third of a mile wide in this area, so binoculars or a telephoto camera will be needed for taking a closer look.
The name of this ancient cliff dwelling is misleading, because nearly all of the dark windows on the pueblo structures are actually doorways. From a distance, the doors look small enough to be windows, which can cause an onlooker to start wondering how the ancient ancestors entered the building. Then the thought occurs as to how in the heck did the agile ancestors get onto that ledge in the first place and then build a complex pueblo structure upon it. The answers to these inquiries only cover the where and when questions, not the how and why, which leaves plenty to be pondered over when gazing at the House Of Many Windows!
The pueblos on the ledges of this towering sheer vertical cliff look as if they are completely inaccessible, yet the ancient Mesa Verde Culture cliff dwelling structures sure do prove this thought to be wrong. Just like with the Chacoan Staircases, the handholds and small step indentations may not be easy to see from a distance, but the vertical pathways are there. Another method of access is ladders, which the Mesa Verde Culture was famous for building. Some of the old original wooden ladders from ancient times can be seen elsewhere in this park and those old ladders were actually two to four stories tall. That is one big scary tall ladder to climb, so the fear of heights certainly did not exist in this ancient civilization that took great pride in living in the home of the eagle long ago.
What the House Of Many Windows Cliff Dwelling was originally used for is not easy to be discovered when doing research. Very little information can be found on the internet about the rooms in these seemingly inaccessible cliff ledge pueblos and due to the scary high location, I am sure that only a few archaeologists have dared to find out. In modern times, letting an ancient pueblo lie in state and limit the public access is the best method for preservation, which is very easy to accomplish at the House Of Many Windows! For this reason, this ancient cliff dwelling is for your eyes only, as all ancient sacred places should be, so be sure to bring a powerful lens along for the ride!