"one of the most beautiful buildings
left in the United States by the early Spaniards”
The San Francisco de Asís Mission Church is a historic and architecturally significant building in Ranchos de Taos, northern New Mexico. Built between 1772 and 1816 in the main plaza of a small Mexican - Indian agricultural community, it replaced an earlier mission that was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo revolt.
This is one of the finest living examples of a Spanish Mission Church being the heart and soul of a pueblo. The edifice was built and has been maintained over the centuries by the blood, sweat and toil of the indigenous villagers. Every Spring they gather to apply mud and straw by hand to repair weather related erosion.
This mission has inspired some of the greatest number of depictions of any building in the United States. It was the subject of several paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe and photographs by Ansel Adams, Paul Strand and Ned Scott. Many artists spent months here studying, learning and looking for the perfect light to capture its beauty. Its adobe walls are everchanging with the high desert light, hour by hour, day by day, season by season.
This collection depicts but a few of the many facets
of this revered living edifice.
NOTE: As is common in many active pueblo missions,
photography inside the church is strictly prohibited.
Let's start the show...
All of the missions initiated in the southwest by the Spaniards during the 1600's were lead by Franciscan priests. Thus many are named for San Francisco, their patron saint.
Taken at midnight, two small naked bulbs illuminate San Francisco and the front of the mission.