What you are looking at is the front and standing within the entrance to the Quarai Mission (this structure is a church). Isn't it amazing? I was awe struck just looking at the exterior of the church. The second image you see is what I saw as I stepped into the threshold of the church. I just stood there in awe and started to tear up from the sheer beauty of it all. Only to be interrupted by the Park Ranger advising me to stay on the paths. I thought that stepping into the church was not being on the path, but he said it was. I guess right outside of the church I was in the grassy area and that must NOT be on the path. Moving moment interruptus!
The construction and the architectural design is just a visual feast. I couldn't get over the enormity of it and the logistics of building something like this back in the early 1600s. As if that weren't enough of a feat, the Park Ranger did tell me that it was built entirely by women (as this was considered woman's work in the native culture). That made me more amazed when I thought I had maxed out on being amazed.
This venture was the tail end of a weekend expedition that Linda and I took down to White Sands National Monument. I have a lot of great shots of that too which I promise to post later. I guess I'm working my way backwards in time.
Back to this church. It is part of a cluster of missions called the Salinas Pueblo Missions. Earlier that morning we were at the Grand Quivira ruins. The third on is Abo and we didn't go there as it required more backtracking than we had time for. Make sure you click on all the links I provide to get more in depth information about these sites.
This mission site is one of many examples of the treasures that New Mexico has. I'm proud to call it home!