Sunday, August 19, 2007

San Francisco de Asis Church

San Francisco de Asis Church
New Mexico Historical Marker

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This marker is located on Highway 68 in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 36° 21.517 W 105° 36.517.

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This mission church is one of the oldest churches in the United States dedicated to San Francisco de Asis. It was constructed between 1813 and 1815 under the direction of the Franciscan Fray Jose Benito Pereyro. It is an outstanding example of adobe mission architecture. The church continues to be a place of worship, an integral part of the community as well as a tourist attraction.
San Francisco de Asís Mission Church is one of the best known and most photographed churches in New Mexico. It was the subject of four paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and photographs by Ansel Adams and Paul Strand. Georgia O'Keefe described it as, "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards."

The Spanish Colonial adobe building has twin bell towers and an arched portal entrance that overlooks an enclosed courtyard. The interior has a large carved reredos (altar screen) divided into painted panels, a ceiling of vigas (beams) that rest on elaborately carved double brackets and a traditional choir loft.

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