Feb. 9, 2019: San Felipe Neri Church, Albuquerque

 

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, there are many historic buildings, or buildings presumed to be historic. But in the center, the Old Town, only the San Felipe de Neri church has an undisputed claim to dating from the days of Spanish rule.

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Built in 1792 to replace a 1706 church that collapsed, it originally was a largely adobe building like most of its Spanish colonial peers, but unlike its predecessor it is cross-shaped, not rectangular.

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The French-born bishop Jean-Francois Lamy who was sent to bring warring and possibly heretical church factions under control also had the church's exterior rebuilt with Gothic elements, and altered the interior to 'Europeanize' the  church, giving it more or less its present appearance.

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Our visit was during Lent. The purple draping of the crosses and statues in observance added to the church's unusual appearance.

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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