Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ranchos de Taos Mission Church

Tuesday June 30, 2015

The Village of Ranchos de Taos was settled by Spanish

settlers in 1716. They were accompanied by Franciscan friars
who were there to bring Catholicism to all who lived there.
Vintage Postcard

The construction on the village parish of Saint Francis de Asis
did not begin until 1776. It was completed around 1815.
This style is known as the Spanish Colonial style.
The Village of Ranchos de Taos was not built in a typical fortified style,
so the church served as a defensive fortress for residents during times of intrusion.

Photo from Google Images

The church was named after Saint Francis of Assisi.
He is known as the patron saint of animals.

As an adobe church, it was made to erode and
has needed to be preserved and maintained.
In 1960, the well intentioned citizens sought to preserve the church
by covering it with stucco. This undermined the adobe's ability to breathe,
and created a further deterioration. It had to be removed and restored in 1979.
This process is documented in a 1997 book titled
"Ranchos de Taos: San Francisco de Asis Church" by Wolfgang Pogzeba.
Saint Francis de Asis 1920's
Saint Francis de Asis 1934

After it's restoration, the parish reinstated the annual
maintenance and repair of the church through the re-mudding
process required by any authentic adobe building.

More modern adobe buildings have a stabilizer in the mixture.
Many New Mexican homes that appear to built in this style are framed
houses with stucco and paint.

Voir, Ella, and Amaya were thrilled
when we finally arrived at San Francisco de Asis!

The Taos skies were blue

and there were a lot of flowers around the church!

They checked out the front, and then
walked all around the building.

The buttresses are on the back of the church, but they
are the first part of the church visitors see as they face the road.

Pigeons and doves rested along the top of the buttress,
and then would fly around

One of the reasons some people know about the church
at Ranchos de Taos is because the buttresses have been
shared in paintings by many artists, including Georgia O'Keefe
and photographer Ansel Adams.

Georgia O'Keefe Painting

Ansel Adams Photography

After I uploaded my photos, I noticed this statue of
Saint Francis in the parish window.
He is shown, as he is in many images, with birds arching
between his upraised hands.
It then seemed so appropriate that the birds on the buttress
are attracted to Saint Francis de Asis!

We wandered around past the hollyhock
and came back to the front of the church.

By this time, the doors to the church had been locked,
but even without visiting the inside, the grounds are a peaceful place to stop
to see this important part of history in New Mexico.

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