Tour the architectures in the Southwest - Church - 3 :
Churches in New Mexico
(New Mexico, USA)

New Mexico seems to be the place where architecture progressed uniquely. The representation is churches which remain in Santa Fe or native villages. This area was the place where the prominent indigenous culture in North America had been developed before the Spaniard settled and, after the settlement, it was a northern limit of the colonial cultural sphere distant from the center. Therefore, the churches had a room for local culture to accpet without being tied to the authenticity of a colonial architecture.

Even if, in the area, originally the indigenous people strongly resisted to Christianity, the church that united Christianity with the native view of the world is one of the heart and soul of theirs now. However, the residents are always on their guard against a visit of strangers and even the entry permission to a village is difficult prior to the visit of a church. So, no one can often find even the photograph of churche’s exterior appearance, much less that of inside. That must also be a one side of USA in the 21st century.

The majority of churches are connected with a village through a front garden surrounded with a wall. " The architecture in New Mexico - church made of stone, soil and light " by Yo Hakomori and Izuru Ichihara writes that the front garden named as atrio imitated the church of Mexico as a center of colonial culture. In Mexico, the atrio was utilized as a place of the Mass for indigenous people who had not entered in a church even if no clear record on it isn't find out.

The church’s wall is made of a piled-up adobe finished in mud softly. It derives from the architectural skills of indigenous culture. The facade is apart from either the form of the indigenous culture or the colonial architecture, but, it is still not nothing less than the locality of New Mexico.

Compared with the facade, the interior is simple. The plan is classified in the straight type or the cross type and has no strong feature. However, the details like a wall smoothly finished in mud and a wooden beam on which an ornament of the colonial style was carved give the New Mexican air.

To Japanese Version

Google Map

Around Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos.
Along the highway that goes to the west from Albuquerque.

New Mexico - Land and Enchantment

New Mexico - Land and Enchantment

"Built of Earth and Song" (Marie Romero Cash, Red Crane Books, 1993)
"Historic New Mexico Churches" (Annie Lux, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2007)
"ニューメキシコ-第四世代の多元文化" (加藤薫, 新評論, 1998)
"ニューメキシコの建築-石と土と光の教会" (ヨウ箱守・市原出, 丸善, 2000)

2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version


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Churches in New Mexico 

Photo by Daigo Ishii