San Francisco de Asis Mission Church

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Not to be confused with Mission San Francisco de Asís.
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.JPG
Mission Church of Ranchos de Taos
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church is located in New Mexico
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church
Shown within New Mexico
Basic information
Location The Plaza of Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
Geographic coordinates 36°21′31″N 105°36′28″W / 36.3586°N 105.6078°W / 36.3586; -105.6078Coordinates: 36°21′31″N 105°36′28″W / 36.3586°N 105.6078°W / 36.3586; -105.6078
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Architectural description
Architect(s) Unknown
Architectural style Spanish
Completed 1772
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Added to NRHP April 15, 1970[1][2]

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church is a church built between 1772 and 1816. It is located on the plaza in Ranchos de Taos, itself a historic district named Ranchos de Taos Plaza, about four miles southwest of the town of Taos, New Mexico.


Construction on the church began around 1772[3][4] and was completed in 1815[3] by Franciscan Fathers and its patron is Saint Francis of Assisi. It is made of adobe, similar to many of the other Spanish missions in New Mexico.[5] It was the center of the fortified Ranchos de Taos Plaza for protection against Comanche attackers.[6]

It is located a few miles south of Taos Pueblo and has inspired some of the greatest number of depictions of any building in the United States.[5] It was the subject of several paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe,[7][8] and photographs by Ansel Adams, Paul Strand and Ned Scott. Georgia O'Keeffe described it as "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards."[5] The Taos Chamber of Commerce states that the building is "one of the most photographed and painted churches in the world".[9]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.[2][10] It is also designated as a World Heritage church.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  | refnum = 70000416 | designated = April 15, 1970
  2. ^ a b "National Historic Landmarks Survey, New Mexico" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Hooker, Van Dorn. Centuries of Hands: An Architectural History of St. Francis of Assisi Church, p15. Sunstone Press (1996), ISBN 0-86534-234-2.
  4. ^ Ranchos de Taos. The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. 2000
  5. ^ a b c Charles C. Eldredge (1993). Georgia O'Keeffe: American and Modern, p198. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05581-1.
  6. ^ Marc Treib (1 January 1993). Sanctuaries of Spanish New Mexico. University of California Press. pp. 188–192. ISBN 978-0-520-06420-1. 
  7. ^ 1971.16 | Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
  8. ^ Georgia O'Keeffe - Learning
  9. ^ "Pilgrimage to the Mission Churches" (PDF). Taos Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  10. ^ Charles W. Snell (May 1, 1968) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, National Park Service and Accompanying photos from 1968
  11. ^

Further reading[edit]

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