Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Plaza at holiday time

We wandered around the Santa Fe Plaza last Tuesday. The Plaza is always colorful and fun to visit, but even more so during the Christmas season. Come look around with us:

The Burrito Company (or, Henry, this blog post is for you!)

On Tuesday of this past week, we ate at The Burrito Company (on Washington Street on the Plaza) for the first time. But I remember that cousin Henry used to love the burritos there.

It was way past lunch time but still crowded. The place was noisy, the Hispanic kids working there so polite, friendly and fast, and the menu was extensive..hard to decide quickly what to get.

We were not disappointed in our choices:

I had cheese enchiladas smothered in green chile:

John got a carne adovada burrito:

The Burrito Company will go on our growing list of places to visit again.


Inside the Cathedral

The interior of St. Francis Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe is an architectural and artistic wonder.

When we were there on Dec. 22, the mood was festive inside the cathedral - tourists looking around, workers putting final touches on the Christmas decorations, children practicing for their Christmas performance at Mass.

The new renovations/restorations as well as the Christmas decorations looked amazing.

When we returned for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the mood was much more formal, worshipful and joyous.

We wondered about the Chihuahua in the nativity scene - sure there is an interesting story behind that!

Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS .. all my blogger friends and those of you who faithfully read my blog.


(Christmas tree from the lobby of La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe)

(Homemade creche on Alameda St. in Santa Fe)


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Statues at the Cathedral

There are some neat statues on the front grounds of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Santa Fe.

Here are some of my favorites:

Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who presided over the Church at Santa Fe from 1850-1888, was beloved in the city, and who was responsible for the St. Francis of Assisi Church being built:

Archbishop Lamy looking out at the city he loved and pastored:

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the cathedral at Santa Fe:

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a Catholic American Indian who became known as the Lily of the Mohawks, the statue honors the Native American spirit:

St. Francis Dancing on the Water:

Don Diego de Vargas, governor of New Mexico from 1691-1697, and 1703-1704. He governed the state during a time of lasting peace, and is held in much respect by the people of Santa Fe:

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

This is the grand church of Santa Fe.

Sitting at the eastern end of the Santa Fe Plaza, it is an imposing site.

When the City of Santa Fe was founded in 1610, the first church was built on this site, to be replaced by another in 1630, which was ddestroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The next church built here was in 1714, and was named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Santa Fe. The only part of this church still existing is the small adobe chapel dedicated to Our Lady La Conquistadora.

The First Bishop of Santa Fe was Father John Baptiste Lamy of France, who arrived in 1850. He ordered a new Romanesque church built, and brought French architects and Italian stonemasons to build his Cathedral. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1869 and continued until 1887. Dedicated in 1887, the Cathedral’s spires were never completed due to lack of funds.

The Cathedral was elevated to a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Basilica means a church of particular importance in Rome and abroad.

During the past year, much renovation has been done on the cathedral in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the church and the city in 2010.

Inside and out, the cathedral basilica is an architectural wonder, and we who live in Santa Fe can be immensely proud of it. I never tire of going there. We visited the church this past week - and enjoyed seeing it all decorated for Christmas.

Here are some photos of the exterior of the church:

Upper Canyon Road

The Upper Canyon Road eastside neighborhood of Santa Fe is really cool, with old adobe homes loaded with charm.

John got a couple of pictures yesterday of homes just across the street from Cristo Rey Church:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cristo Rey - Christ the King

Cristo Rey Catholic Church is one of my favorite places in Santa Fe.

Built in 1939 and dedicated in 1940, the adobe church, on upper Canyon Road just east of the downtown area, is an impressive monument to the Spanish-Revival period of northern New Mexico, and features a great stone retablo behind the altar, which faces east and is illuminated by the morning sun shining through the clerestory windows.

Over 150,000 adobe bricks were used in the construction of the church, and were made on the site and laid by the parishioners. The building of the church was completed in 14 months.

The retablo was carved in 1760 by artisans employed by Governor Francisco Antonio Martin de Valle. The stone came from a quarry northeast of Santa Fe. The large crucifix which hangs to the right of the retablo, was moved from a chapel at Valencia, New Mexico in 1938.

We were at Cristo Rey this past week. Dressed up for Christmas, the church was even more special and beautiful than ever.