Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Friday, May 25, 2012

San José De Gracia Church

Nestled in a beautiful valley Northwest of the three Truchas Peaks, a 13,000-foot massif within the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range of New Mexico, lies the sleepy mountain hamlet of Las Trampas. In 1751 twelve Spanish families from Santa Fe to the South settle in the area and establish the town. Between the years 1760 and 1776, while the American Revolution rages, the families build an adobe church as a lay chapel on the North side of the original town plaza. They complete their expression of love and devotion to God in 1780. Two hundred and thirty two years later San José de Gracia de Las Trampas is still an active parish church. The church is fully restored and one of the best examples of Spanish Colonial Mission Architecture in New Mexico.

I wander the walled church grounds, touch the weathered wood at the main entry, and run my hands across the coarse texture of protruding straw fortifier in the stucco layered upon its adobe bones. My imagination ignites and I wonder what might have been. This grand old sanctuary holds stories of joyous celebrations and sorrowful dirges, weddings, baptisms, and funerals. The staunch walls also whisper of a brief encounter with Los Hermanos Penitentes, a flagellant Catholic order of colonial Spanish America.

Once also known as Church of Santo Tomas Del Rio de Las Trampas the church is on the National Historic Landmark register. The church is closed. I must defer a viewing of the notable artworks by 18th and 19th Century santeros to my next visit.

Without the distraction color evokes, monochrome images of the adobe church add a classic and timeless touch. They allow you to experience this place of history with remarkable purity of emotion--what I saw and felt, just before I pressed the shutter.

© Ilija Lukić 2012

Invitation To Prayer - For 232 Years

1780 Spanish Colonial Catholic Church

San José De Gracia Church - Las Trampas New Mexico

Eternal Slumber

Adobe Church Belfry

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