Las Trampas, New Mexico was first settled in 1751 by 12 Spanish families from Santa Fe. By 1776 the village had increased to 63 families numbering 278 people. The Church San Jose de Gracia was built between 1760 and 1776.
The Church has a single nave plan measuring 100 feet long and 52 feet wide, including transepts and a projecting apse. The nave's adobe walls are four and six feet thick respectively, rising to 34 feet high. There are no towers, but projecting buttresses topped by small wooden belfries. The exterior architectural decoration is limited to the paneled main entrance door and the simple wooden balcony above.
One of the most remarkable features of the New Mexico Spanish Colonial Churches and San Jose de Gracia is a transverse clerestory window invisible from inside the nave, it throws a mysterious light on the sanctuary and altar. This is accomplished by raising the transept roof a few feet higher than the nave roof, permitting a low horizontal window over the nave, light from which floods otherwise the dark altar area interior. Such clerestory windows are unknown elsewhere in Spanish Colonial architecture, or indeed in Christian architecture anywhere in the world, and seem to have been the invention of the Franciscan padres of New Mexico.
San Jose de Gracia is located near the Taos scenic highway 76, on the north side of the Las Trampas Plaza. It is one of the best preserved Spanish Colonial churches in the Southwest. Though it does require frequent new mud coats to preserve its adobe.
Critiques | Translate
serp2000 (40906) 2014-04-19 7:29
I am not expert of the churchs but I think this one looks very simple for the Spanich church. Anyway, this is very interesting presentation of Las Trampas. Attractive combination of the deep blue sky and brown walls.
Noel_Byrne (25562) 2014-04-19 8:51
A beautiful example of this style of building, and one which to me is quite exotic, certainly a far cry from what I see on a day to day basis. Believe it or not, in a high school art project, I built one of these style churches (out of empty cigarette packs) so I think I have always had an appreciate for this style. I I've the low viewpoint very much too, it makes the building seem more imposing and the clouds behind add a nice touch of almost film like drama behind.
Cheers, and happy easter.
elenimavrandoni (14207) 2014-04-19 11:09
Ray, it seems that your journey in NM continues and this picture is so beautiful to remind this place with so much history and tradition!! very nicely presented and fantastic light!!
wishes to you
mesutilgim (86510) 2014-04-19 11:40
Nice capture of this traditional architecture in Las Trampas. Very good warm light and nice dark cloudy sky as a perfect background.
Many interesting notes makes your entry a perfect TE entry.
TFS and have a happy Easter !
marina7 (8055) 2014-04-19 12:32
Very impressive edifice, it's sandy color looks great against the deep blue of the sky. A well-taken shot and a good theme for the weekend!
bukitgolfb301 (36648) 2014-04-19 15:31
Hi dear Ray, how are you?
Sorry for my long no contatct with you due to several reasons. I like this so tasteful color touch and contrast so much. Perfect framework and reeasonable tight composition are your trademark.
All the best and have a good weekend! TAKERO
emka (81608) 2014-04-19 23:41
Hello Ray, Beautiful architecture of this New Mexico church. Fine work from adobe and mud. I like these simple but lovely towers. All looks great against the deep blue sky.
kathryn_weir (2056) 2014-04-20 4:42
This is a great shot of an historic adobe church. Thank you for the informative notes and history. Very fitting for an Easter offering :)
I like your tight composition and the strong shadows for the directional light
Very well seen,
Silvio1953 (125395) 2014-04-20 6:03
ciao Ray, great view of fantastic chrch with beutiful and original architebture, fine details, splendid light, exscellent nclarity and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
saxo042 (37594) 2014-04-20 11:25
Very interesting buildings and a very special kind of architecture. Very strong and attractive colours and a very interesting note.
macjake (57694) 2014-04-21 15:36
i've always been interested in the South Western motif of architecture.
here is a prime example of that from a much earlier time.
your description of the invisible window sounds very interesting indeed, too bad we can't see an example of it and how it works in the light.
i like the side angle profile to give it a bit more depth too.
excellent TE post
kato (11630) 2014-04-22 2:50
You're capturing well this architecture by s good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the tastetful church of the Spain style in New Mexico, USA. It looks like having the feather to simple structure, materials and warm color in colonial times. And, it's also impressive in entrance gate ans outer wall.
SnapRJW (31617) 2014-04-22 23:02
Hello Ray - I love the distinctive look of this adobe church. It has a wonderfully rustic look and is very much in the vernacular of the traditional building methods and style of the area. I think it's rather nice that the building seems to spring from the earth of its location rather that being a totally 'imported' style.
A fine and very interesting shot. I would love to see inside the church, I bet it is cool and quiet within.