Saturday, 5 January 2013

“One of the most photographed churches in the world”

Card no 326 - Danielle

Sunset on St Francis, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church is a church built between 1772 and 1816. It is located on the plaza in Ranchos de Taos about four miles southwest of the town of Taos, New Mexico. Taos Pueblo, situated in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande, is an adobe settlement consisting of dwellings and ceremonial buildings. It represents the culture of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction on the church began around 1772 and was completed in 1815 by Franciscan Fathers and its patron is Saint Francis of Assisi. It is made of adobe as are many of the Spanish missions in New Mexico. It has been the inspiration for as many depictions as almost any building in the United States.  It was the subject of four paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe,  and photographs by Ansel Adams and Paul Strand. Georgia O'Keeffe described it as, "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards." The Taos Chamber of Commerce states that the building is "one of the most photographed and painted churches in the world".

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.   It is also designated as a World Heritage church.

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