St Francis de Asis Church


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We are in Ranchos de Taos for the next few posts here on taoStyle and with Easter around the corner, where better to begin than with the iconic St Francis de Asis Mission Church?

Built between 1772 and 1816 by Franciscan Fathers, this adobe mission church was once the center of the fortified Ranchos de Taos Plaza for protection against Comanche invaders.

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One of the oldest, most photographed buildings in North America, the church on Ranchos Plaza is an iconic reminder of the history of Northern New Mexico.

The subject of several of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, the church was also famously photographed by Ansel Adams, Paul Strand and Ned Scott.

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Located in Ranchos de Taos Plaza about four miles south of town the St Francis de Assisi Church is a must see for any visitor to the region. Besides, Ranchos Plaza is full of hidden gems and over the next week, I’ll take you to a few of them.

For many years Dennis Hopper maintained a residence across the street at the El Cortez Theatre and Ranchos de Taos was his home away from home.

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His last wish was to be buried here and here, in this church is where his funeral was held. His grave site is not too far distant.

Ask to see the miracle painting when you visit and do light a candle or two. It’s good luck, whether you are Catholic or not.

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Photographs of St Francis de Assisi Mission Church by Bill Curry