In the early morning light, set against a clear, blue sky, is was easy to understand why the World Heritage Site was . . .
No revolts the morning of our visit with the exception of the rising sun beating back the dark of night. The mission style church was our last stop on a whirlwind 36 hours in Taos. If not for my persistence we’d have missed the World Heritage Site just off the main road running through Taos, Highway 68. Bereft of any fanfare, we’d missed the entrance to the plaza that has been home to the National Landmark since completion of the church in 1815.
“We need to turn around, Jimmy!”
With the famed Taos Plaza in our rear view mirror, Jimmy was in destination versus journey mode. I was in manic mode, the desire to see this National Landmark, to lend my interpretation to this iconic structure greater than any obstacle standing in my way, including one road warrior with a lead foot. Of course, Jimmy knows, too, that I can’t take just one picture.
“Ten minutes,” Jimmy warned as he parked the car adjacent to the church after five minutes of driving the maze of narrow avenues surrounding the Ranchos plaza.
I made no attempt to acknowledge his directive as I exited the vehicle, my excitement already too much for words.
A major renovation to the church in the 1960s included a covering of stucco cement, which proved disastrous for the earthen foundation by 1979. Microscopic cracks created with the expansion and contraction of the adobe wall during changes in the weather and temperature had hydrostatically drawn water into the wall, undermining the stability of the adobe structure beneath the stucco cement. The stucco was removed and the ancient practice of enjarre reinstituted. As they say, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!!
All looked perfect the morning of our visit; and very quiet, our only companions St. Francis and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
You Might Also Like: