Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in Central New Mexico

Quarai church ruin
 There is a National Monument not too far from Albuquerque that is a silent world of a past civilization that existed for five centuries on a high mountain plateau.  Displayed are the artifacts, buildings, and history of two cultures: The ancient Puebloan civilization from the 12th century up until the 17th century when Spanish led-expeditions established Catholic churches at each of three Pueblo villages: Quarai, Abó, and Gran Quivira. You can get there via the Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway.  Plan for a full day trip if you go.

The Puebloan Culture masonry-style is easy to see in these excavated ruins 

Abó church ruins

Compare this construction with the those of Chaco Culture National Historic Park in Northwest New Mexico.

The settlements have not been occupied for more than 300 years.  The native people probably abandoned the villages during extreme drought in the 17th century.  

 A kiva in a Catholic church may have been an accommodation of native religion by the Franciscan padres

Gran Quivira ruins are the most isolated of the three ruins of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Some of the excavated Puebloan buildings at Gran Quivira. 

The quiet, desolate location of the Gran Quivira ruins gives you the feeling of great spiritual presence of past lives lived here.

The church at Gran Quivira was never finished.  The Spanish left in the late 17th century.

More pueblo mounds have been excavated at Gran Quivira than the other two locations

Read about the architectural history of the Salinas Pueblo ruins: "In the Midst of a Loneliness" by James Ivey

1 comment:

  1. An air of mystery and yet enchantment hangs in air from times long ago. Very interesting, Vicki....;)