Spanish missions in New Mexico

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The Spanish Missions in New Mexico were a series of religious outposts in the Province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México — present day New Mexico. They were established by Franciscan friars under charter from the monarchs of the Spanish Empire and the government of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in a policy called Reductions to facilitate the conversion of Native Americans—Indians into Christianity.


They attempted to Hispanicize the indigenous peoples. The affected included the rich cultures and tribes of: many of the 21 distinct Puebloan groups; the Tiwa; the Navajo; and the Apache. The missions also aimed to pacify resistance to the European invasion of the tribes' Pre-Columbian homelands and loss of traditions. The missions introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, and small-scale industry into the Southwest region. They also introduced European diseases that the native people had no immunity against.

Fray Marcos de Niza, sent by Coronado, first saw the area now known as New Mexico in 1539. The first permanent settlement was Mission San Gabriel, founded in 1598 by Juan de Oñate near what is now known as Okay Owingeh, formerly known as the San Juan Pueblo.[citation needed]


Name Image Location Established Notes[1][2]
Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula Mission Church, Pecos National Park, Pecos, New Mexico 03.jpg Near Pecos
35°33′00″N 105°41′4″W / 35.55000°N 105.68444°W / 35.55000; -105.68444 (Pecos)
1598 Original church was used only briefly and abandoned. Reestablished in 1616 with a new church completed after 1629. Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt c. 1696, rebuilt again c. 1717. Abandoned in 1838. Ruins are part of Pecos National Historical Park.
Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Zía Zia Pueblo 1598 Established as San Pedro y San Pablo. Damaged in 1680 and rededicated in 1692 as Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Church built c. 1700.
San Juan Bautista de los Caballeros San Juan Bautista Church at Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.JPG Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo 1598 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt c. 1706. Replaced with a new Gothic-style church in 1913.
San José de los Jémez Jemez Historic Site 07.JPG Near Jemez Springs
35°46′38″N 106°41′11″W / 35.77722°N 106.68639°W / 35.77722; -106.68639 (Jemez)
c. 1600 Church completed between 1625 and 1628, abandoned c. 1630. Ruins are now part of Jemez Historic Site.[3]
San Felipe Old Indian Church, Pueblo San Felipe, New Mexico (NYPL b12647398-75837).tiff San Felipe Pueblo 1605 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt on a new site in 1706. Remodeled c. 1801.
Santo Domingo Pueblo of Santo Domingo Mission Church.jpg Kewa Pueblo 1607 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt in 1706. A second church was added in the mid-18th century. Both were destroyed in a flood of the Rio Grande in 1886. The current church was built in 1895 at a new location.
San Miguel San Miguel Chapel.jpg Santa Fe
35°41′00″N 105°56′16″W / 35.68343°N 105.93767°W / 35.68343; -105.93767 (San Miguel)
c. 1610 Built c. 1610, partly destroyed in 1680, rebuilt 1710.
Nuestra Señora de Dolores y de San Antonio de Sandía "Indian church, Pueblo of Sandia, near Albuquerque, New Mexico." Fred Harvey series. (NBY 21601).jpg Sandia Pueblo c. 1610 Established as San Francisco de Sandía. Destroyed and pueblo abandoned in 1680. Reestablished in 1748 as Nuestra Señora de Dolores y de San Antonio. Second church completed in 1752 and collapsed in the 1770s. Third church built c. 1784 and fell to ruins by the 1860s. Current church built on new site in 1864 and remodeled most recently in 1976.
San Agustín de la Isleta 2014.08.05 - San Agustín de la Isleta Mission (4).JPG Isleta Pueblo
34°54′32.4″N 106°41′36.0″W / 34.909000°N 106.693333°W / 34.909000; -106.693333 (Isleta)
c. 1612 Church built between 1613 and 1617. Remodeled in 1910–1923 and again in 1962.
San Francisco de Nambé Nambé Pueblo 1613 Church built c. 1617, destroyed in 1680, rebuilt 1725. Remodeled c. 1900 with a pitched roof which caused it to collapse around 1908. Third church built in 1910 and demolished in 1960. Current church built 1975.[4]
San Jerónimo de Taos DSC 1690 Historic church at Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.jpg Taos Pueblo 1617 Church built c. 1626. Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt c. 1706. Destroyed during the Taos Revolt in 1847. Current church built c. 1850 on a different site. Ruins of old church still exist.
San Ildefonso 2014.08.04-San Ildefonso Mission Church).JPG San Ildefonso Pueblo c. 1617 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt in 1711 on new site. Remodeled in 1905 and rebuilt in 1968.
San Lorenzo de Picurís Picuris Pueblo, NM, Campo Santo and San Lorenzo Church, 2011 - panoramio.jpg Picuris Pueblo c. 1620 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt 1706, rebuilt again in the 1740s. Destroyed again in 1769 and rebuilt c. 1776. Remodeled c. 1900 and again in the 1960s.
San Estévan del Rey de Ácoma DSC 1450 San Esteban Del Rey Mission Church, Acoma, New Mexico.jpg Acoma Pueblo
34°53′42″N 107°34′57″W / 34.89500°N 107.58250°W / 34.89500; -107.58250 (Acoma)
1623 Church completed c. 1630. Damaged in 1680 and rebuilt in 1696–1700.
Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro (San Miguel de Socorro) San Miguel de Socorro Church Socorro Nov 2013.jpg Socorro
34°3′37″N 106°53′38″W / 34.06028°N 106.89389°W / 34.06028; -106.89389 (Socorro)
1626 Established around 1626, destroyed in 1680, rebuilt during 19th century.
Santa Clara Santa Clara Pueblo c. 1626 Rebuilt c. 1758. Remodeled c. 1900 with a new roof which caused it to collapse in 1905. Rebuilt c. 1914 and remodeled in the 1960s.
Nuestra Señora de Purísima Concepción de Quarai Salinas quarai.jpg Near Mountainair
34°35′45″N 106°17′42″W / 34.59583°N 106.29500°W / 34.59583; -106.29500 (Quarai)
1627 Built 1627–1633, abandoned by 1677. Ruins are part of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
La Purísima Concepcíón de Hawikuh Hawikuh church.jpg Near Zuni Pueblo
34°55′56″N 108°59′4.4″W / 34.93222°N 108.984556°W / 34.93222; -108.984556 (Hawikuh)
1628 Destroyed in 1680.
San Gregorio de Abó Abo Ruin.jpg Near Mountainair
34°26′56″N 106°22′17″W / 34.44889°N 106.37139°W / 34.44889; -106.37139 (Abo)
1629 Built 1629–1644, abandoned by 1678. Ruins are part of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zuñi PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF EAST (FRONT) AND NORTH SIDE - Mission Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zuni, Zuni Pueblo, Zuni, McKinley County, NM HABS NM,16-ZUNIP,2-2.tif Zuni Pueblo 1629 Damaged in 1680, rebuilt c. 1692.
San Ysidro and San Buenaventura de Humanas (Gran Quivira) Views of Gran Quivira at Salinas Pueblos Mission National Monument, New Mexico (bf070cec-47cd-4c1c-bd81-ed033a99c122).jpg Near Mountainair c. 1629 San Ysidro chapel built c. 1629–1632, San Buenaventura built c. 1660s. Ruins are part of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
San Diego de Tesuque Tesuque, Új-Mexikó, Amerikai Egyesült Államok. A pueblo indiánok egyik települése. Fortepan 95133.jpg Tesuque Pueblo late 1620s Established as San Lorenzo. Destroyed in 1680, reestablished as San Diego in 1695. Church rebuilt c. 1706. Remodeled c. 1914.
San Buenaventura de Cochití Old Church, Pueblo of Cochiti, New Mexico (NYPL b12647398-74482).tiff Cochiti Pueblo c. 1630 Destroyed in 1680, rebuilt c. 1706. Remodeled c. 1900 and in the 1960s.
Santa Ana Pueblo of Santa Ana Mission Church, Jemez River vicinity, Santa Ana Pueblo, Sandoval County, NM HABS NM,22-SANAP,2- (sheet 2 of 4).tif Santa Ana Pueblo c. 1693 Church built c. 1700. Current, larger church built 1734–1750.
San José de Laguna Laguna Mission.jpg Laguna Pueblo c. 1700 Still in use.
San Francisco de Asís San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.JPG Ranchos de Taos
36°21′31″N 105°36′30″W / 36.35851388888889°N 105.60841388888889°W / 36.35851388888889; -105.60841388888889 (San Francisco de Asis)
c. 1815

Noted churches that were not missions[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Treib, Marc (1993). Sanctuaries of Spanish New Mexico. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Kessell, John L. (1980). The missions of New Mexico since 1776. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-0514-8. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Mission San José de los Jémez".
  4. ^ "About Nambé Pueblo". Nambé Pueblo. Retrieved February 24, 2021.