Monday, February 15, 2016

Santa Fe and the Road to Taos: San Miguel Chapel and the Classical Gas Museum

Sant Miguel Chapel
Santa Fe, New Mexico

According to our guidebooks, San Miguel Chapel is believed to be the the oldest church structure in the United States, so of course I had to see it! It looked so beautiful surrounded by snow.

They believe the building was started in around 1610, and then partially reconstructed a century later, after a fire. The adobe structure was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians of Mexico, who came to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish, atop an ancient kiva of the Analco Indians. (This reminds me of the churches in Europe built atop Roman Temples.)

Apparently, the altar screen was restored in 1955. It had at some point been covered over in house paint! Many other restorations have taken place over the years.

I love the old Spanish architecture so much, so that I am always drawn to visiting these places. The history is fascinating as well, but often sad when it comes to Native Americans and their culture being wiped out or taken over.

The San José Bell, which weighs around 800 pounds was said to be cast in Spain, in 1356. According to the very nice man who is the guide for the place, there is dispute about the date and there are theories on both sides of the argument, but we did ring the bell and it sounds wonderful. Love all the amulets on the posts!

Below, Christ on the Cross painted on buffalo hide by Franciscan Friars in about 1630, could be rolled up and taken around to use as a teaching tool to help in converting the Pueblo Indians to Christianity.

Found this video on the official website, about the restoration of San Miguel Mission. It even shows how they make the adobe bricks and resurface the adobe, all in less than 4 1/2 minutes!

Wood Station of the Cross
Date Unknown
"This is the only remaining Station of the Cross which rested in the body of the Chapel, when the Christian Brothers began using the Chapel as their private Oratory in 1859. This remnant may have been painted by one of the Spanish painters who decorated the Chapel during the 1710 restoration of the building, under supervision of Don Agustin Flores Vergara."

Across the street from the church ... this beautiful building!

After the church we headed north to see the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Rancho de Taos, and then the Taos Pueblo. I'll get to those in another post, but check out the view from our rental car!

We took the route 68 to Taos, so we could make it in a shorter amount of time. The high road (Scenic Route 76) is supposed to be amazing but takes quite a bit longer. We'll have to save that for another trip!

Check out Camel Rock in Tesuque, between Santa Fe and Espanola! You see it?

Surprises are the joy of living.
Surprises directly touch the soul.
Good surprises energize 
and bad surprises teach.
~ Alev Oguz

I'd seen this next roadside attraction on Route 68 in my guidebooks, as well, but had kind of forgotten about it and then we came around a corner and there it was! It's right along the Rio Grande River Valley and I think if you know about it, you can't miss it!

Johnnie Meier's
Classical Gas Museum
Embudo, New Mexico

We knocked on the door but aparently Mr. Meier was unavailable, and though we didn't go inside the little building, there was so much to look at and take pictures of outside, it was not a disappointment.

When your life itself 
becomes the subject matter of the creative process,
a very different experience of life opens to you.
~Robert Fritz

My mom wanted me to get a shot of her in front of an Edsel, to show our friend Evelyn!
Here you go Evelyn!

As you can see by my mom's coat (And Doctor Zhivago hood) that though it was beautiful in December, it was quite cold that day!

An Instagrammers dream!

Just across the road from the little museum ...

And then we were off again!

San Miguel Chapel
Camel Rock
Classical Gas Museum

I've been pretty busy lately getting ready for two art shows, plus working, trying to start working out on the treadmill, watching the nominated movies, and doing physical therapy for my shoulders etc. ... So, I haven't been able to catch up on here! I'll try to get caught up soon, as well as make some visits to your beautiful blogs and make some phone calls!

Hope this finds you well and enjoying 2016! 

The journey between what you once were 
and who you are now becoming
is where the dance of life really takes place.
~Barbara De Angelis

Blessings and light!


Rick Forrestal said...

This is driving me crazy1
. . . these great pics from my favorite place on earth.
I know each place, where you were standing.
Missing, and longing for . . . makes me want to plan a trip there,
maybe very soon.
are gorgeous. Better than mine (and I've shot so much there.)
You've got a great eye, and we speak the same language.
(It would be great to share the same itinerary, and shoot with you.)

Not at all competitive, just shooting what we love so much.

donna baker said...

Oh Lucinda, the clouds, the milagros on the post, the interiors and all... I'll have to come back again to look at this again.

Theresa said...

Lucinda, What an adventurous life you lead! Thanks for sharing all that richness and color!

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