Spiritual Sites: Santuario de Chimayo and San Francisco de Asis Mission

June 17, 2013  •  3 Comments

In this last post from my recent trip to New Mexico I'm sharing images from two spiritual sites we visited.  

Santuario de Chimayo is a church that was built in 1816 in the town of Chimayo, about 30 miles north of Santa Fe.  During Holy Week it is an important pilgrimage center; I was amazed to learn that some walk from as far away as Albuquerque seeking blessings or cures.  Many leave rosaries, or small handmade crosses on which they have written prayers.

Photos aren't permitted in the sanctuary itself, but outside I found small scenes that, to me, expressed the spirit of the place and those who visit it.

El Santuario de Chimayó - Cross of crosses

El Santuario de Chimayó - Wooden cross El Santuario de Chimayó - La Paloma

What I love about these old, "real" adobe buildings are the natural materials and textures, and the organic shapes.  I was also happy to see that doves (ok, pigeons) were making their home in the attic of the church.

Further north, in Taos, is the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.  Even older than the Chimayo sanctuary, it was built in 1772.  It is well known for the striking curves of its exterior, which have been the subject of paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and photographs by Ansel Adams and Paul Strand, among others.  

It is certainly one of the most photographed churches in the world, and in keeping with my "Anselizing" of Hernandez, NM, I too had to try my hand.  With anything so over-photographed it's hard to find a new angle and a new look, but that's the sport of it.  In these pictures I wanted lots of drama and detail; black and white was the best option for bringing out the essential lines of the architectural forms.

20130408_Santa Fe_151-Edit-Edit-2 20130408_Santa Fe_163-Edit

20130408_Santa Fe_169-Edit

OK, I'm done Anselizing for a while!

If you're ever in northern New Mexico, these two spiritual destinations are definitely worth a visit.  


Comments

Paul(non-registered)
Hauntingly beautiful and a lovely reminder of this part of the world
Kevin Shick Photography
Thanks, Matthew!
Matthew John Rice(non-registered)
Kevin,
I really love these photos. Your compositions are wonderful and the shadows and timing (e.g., the pose of the pigeon) are great.
Matthew
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