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Propped up against the stained walls, or piled on the partially tiled floor, are a collection of almost 300 ancient artefacts: stone lingam and yoni statues, chunks of bas relief carvings, Angkorian busts and the vast wooden pediment of a 19th century temple. But few visitors think to ask what’s in the locked vihear, and Hin Nuon wouldn’t know what to tell them if they did. Sat in his office overlooking the leafy, well-kept grounds of the National Museum, director Kong Virak nodded his head slowly as he listened to a description of the decrepit interior. Virak confirmed that the apparent value of the collection dotted around the vihear was no illusion. After the artefacts housed in Phnom Penh’s National Museum, and those stored in Siem Reap, Battambang is home to Cambodia’s most significant museum collection, roughly half of which remains locked in the forsaken vihear at Wat Po Veal. While tremendous effort is still needed to improve the situation of Wat Po Veal’s collection, conservationists are currently focusing their energy on a different, but equally pressing concern: the question of the museum’s missing objects. In a book due to be published next month – after which it will be circulated to international auction houses, customs offices and Interpol – researchers have compiled a list of 67 objects they believe to have gone missing from Battambang: 38 from Wat Po Veal and 29 from the Provincial Museum. Initially, there were 68 objects, but one has since been located, although not yet returned. The push for repatriation comes under the framework of UNESCO’s 1970 convention against the illicit trafficking of controlled goods, as the missing objects are believed to have left Cambodia illegally during the political tumult of the 1970s. Anne LeMaistre, UNESCO representative in Cambodia, said she believed consensus was turning increasingly in favour of repatriation, particularly following the well-publicised 2013 Sotheby’s case in which a statue of a Hindu Warrior was pulled from auction at the last minute and returned to Cambodia. Elsewhere, there are inscriptions daubed in faded Khmer calligraphy: “Don’t make problems” and “Don’t take stuff from here,” they warn. The museum, Virak explained, was a labour of love crafted by two very different, but complementary, personalities.
The collection began in 1926, at a time when farmers were frequently digging up ancient objects while ploughing their fields.
Sick of seeing the antiquities being abused (larger statues were sometimes broken down to use as knife grinders by villagers) the venerable monk Iv Tuth set out to tour the province, and requested that any unearthed antiquities be deposited at Wat Po Veal. The transition to a modern museum came in the early 1960s, when the French art historian Madeleine Giteau heard of the collection.
Giteau was a significant figure in Cambodian museology: a student of the celebrated archaeologist Jean Boisselier, she served as the last French curator of the National Museum from 1956 to 1966.
Speaking last week, Cambodia’s long-serving UNESCO representative Anne LeMaistre broke into a smile as she remembered the formidable Giteau, whose funeral she attended in Paris in 2005. But Giteau’s rigour, and Iv Tuth’s passion, were no match for Cambodia’s increasingly turbulent politics.
Some exhibits were looted, while others – no one is sure how many – were buried in the grounds of the museum.
The large stone relics that remain in the museum stayed because transportation proved too difficult for both looters and conservationists. According to locals, the museum was used to store cotton under the Khmer Rouge, which led to occasional fires in the building. From 1979 to 1985, the museum remained in an area under the control of the Vietnamese military. LeMaistre, who first visited Battambang via helicopter in 1993, said that even then the museum was inaccessible. Shortly after her visit, LeMaistre flew to Paris and met with Madeleine Giteau, who by that point was too old to return to Cambodia. In the 35 years since the end of the Khmer Rouge, some rudimentary efforts have been made to improve the state of the museum.
The rubble has been cleared from the floor, and the collection has been catalogued and crosschecked against the original inventory to establish what has gone missing.
One current advantage is the recent announcement by the Battambang provincial government that it wants Battambang to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage city.
Virak believes that with funding as scarce as it currently is, the solution to the museum’s plight must lie in part with the pagoda itself.
At Wat Po Veal, the monks said they were keen to see the museum reopened, but felt that the decision was out of their hands. Chhoeun said he was aware of the vihear’s significance, but couldn’t recall the details of its history, venturing only that it had been built during the French Protectorate by a monk who “liked old things”.
For LeMaistre, it’s a shame that the work of the energetic Iv Tuth remains almost entirely unknown to the public, or even to the monks who now inhabit his temple. But she is still grateful to Iv Tuth for having had the foresight to begin the collection in the first place. Reflecting on her vast knowledge of Cambodian antiquities, LeMaistre concluded that the story of this strange, shuttered museum stood out as something unusual. Two opposition lawmakers, Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sakphea were beaten unconscious during protests in Phnom Penh, as over a thousand protesters descended upon the National Assembly. Students at Phnom Penh's Liger Learning Center have written and published a new book, "The Cambodian Economy". An ethnically Vietnamese community that has lived on the water in Phnom Penh for decades is given three weeks notice to cut their houses loose. If the item comes direct from a manufacturer, it may be delivered in non-retail packaging, such as a plain or unprinted box or plastic bag. You must, when examining the product exercise reasonable care in doing so in order that the item is not damaged in any way. Find out more about your rights as a buyer - opens in a new window or tab and exceptions - opens in a new window or tab. You've read and agree to the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab.
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Room rates vary according to room type (private or shared) and level of care (assisted living, nursing, sub-acute or rehabilitation) needed. Riverview Estates (the Baptist Home of South Jersey) was founded by members of American Baptist Churches of New Jersey in 1954 to care for the aging people in their congregations. The vihear, a large temple building normally used for ceremonies, looks like a storeroom, sheltering broken temple regalia and shelves upon shelves of paperwork. It’s a large, active pagoda – the monks recently opened their own radio station, and foreign tour groups frequently roam the grounds.
Initially conceived of in 1968 as an overspill for Wat Po Veal’s burgeoning collection, the Provincial Museum has fared well by comparison: it is open to the public, and a major project was recently launched to renovate its collection. The black and white image showed the upstairs of the two-storey building – a room lined with neat white columns, with exhibits presented in glass-fronted cabinets. The list was established by comparing items in the existing collections to the detailed inventories compiled by Madeleine Giteau in the 1960s.
In 1993, the publication of the catalogue 100 Missing Objects: Looting in Angkor led to 10 objects being returned from the United States, Germany, France and Switzerland. But picking one’s way around the objects that litter the ground floor, it’s possible to discern traces of the museum as it once stood. In the 1950s, overcrowding prompted the construction of the two-storey vihear where the collection remains to this day.
She catalogued it, and reordered it chronologically, opening the two-storey vihear as a public museum in 1965.
Conservationists transported its bronzes and other precious items to greater safety in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. As recently as 2011, the head of a statue registered in the Wat Po Veal inventory was dug up five kilometres from the temple complex.
If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. On some partition walls, the neatly stencilled chronological labels of the exhibits are still legible. 1914Tesuque, the first of the pueblos north of Santa Fe, is one of the smallest of the Tewa group: its population was listed as 281 people in 1973. In contrast to the larger agglomerations of living units, such as the multitiered blocks at Taos or the more rambling configurations at Isleta, Tesuque's form is unequivocal and centralized.
Constantly deteriorating, although continually being restored, the pueblo is a simple and singular statement of collective building.
Federal housing policy enacted in the mid-1960s produced single-family detached houses planned in patterns at odds with the traditional collective forms.
According to Bertha Dutton, the pattern of this "prehistoric" community bears a recognizable architectural relation to earlier settlements such as those at Mesa Verde.Tesuque is also unique in that its church, dedicated to San Diego, sits directly on the plaza. Frederick Hodge believed that the current village is sited three miles east of its prea€“Pueblo Revolt location, which would suggest that the pueblo either occupied a site that had been inhabited in the distant past or established a new pueblo and mission after the Reconquest.The original church was dedicated to San Lorenzo, and its founding is credited to the indefatigable Benavides in the late 1620s. Writing in 1760, he described the church as a visita of Santa Fe and bestowed a blessing of sorts by saying that "these Indians are more civilized (than the Comanche to whom they are compared), but he was troubled by their lack of confessions. Unfortunately, he added little else except that there were thirty-one families with 232 people. On other occasions the Tesuque congregants traveled to Nambe for mass.At that time the disposition of the pueblo differed from what we see today. After a description of the pueblo blocks, DomAnguez noted, "It is obvious from the foregoing that the church is outside this little plaza, and this is true. The older church was a larger structure, although even in the late eighteenth century, it stood in a somewhat dilapidated condition. It measured about eighty-five feet long by twenty feet wide with a ceiling height of twenty-two feet. There was no choir loft, indicating a lack of musical development at the pueblo, limited resources, or little interest in a foreign religion. The facade was bolstered by "two buttresses from the front corner (like those I described at the Santa Fe church). In all probability, then, the composite image of the church, except for its location and size, was somewhat similar to the way the church at San Felipe pueblo appears today.
The 1870s photo published here shows the remnants of this structure in rather poor condition, although the overall impression is considerably grander than DomAnguez's description implied. Shortly thereafter the church was replaced by a new structure, although in all likelihood a simple adobe cell served as the interim church until the construction was completed. Edgar Hewett probably referred to this building when he wrote that the sacristy had been remodeled into a chapel. Perry Borchers, on the basis of the photogrammetric study his group undertook at the pueblo, claimed that the church seen today shares the same wall positions as those shown in Adam Clark Vroman's 1900 photo. The clearest explanation is provided by John Kessell, who ascertained that the church had fallen into such disrepair that for a period prior to 1880, an adjacent domestic building served the religious purpose.
The current church was rebuilt on the foundation of the old and completed sometime late in the decade.Today the church of San Diego, like so many of the buildings around the plaza, is rarely in pristine condition. The door to the church is kept locked, and the condition of the interior and its contents is unknown. The simple facade and the exterior have been stuccoed with gray cement, and the result is a texture quite antithetical to the feeling of the church, if not the feeling of the pueblo.
On the pediment that tops the main facade, the stucco has cracked from the temperature differential or from the movement of the adobe as its moisture content changes.
Kidder and AssociatesSome twenty miles north and west of Santa Fe, at the foot of the mountains, lies the pueblo of San Ildefonso. The architectural disposition of the pueblo and its plaza orients toward Black Mesa, which rises behind the community.
San Ildefonso was little known as anything other than another pueblo until the rediscovery of the beauty of its pottery.
The insurrection was rapidly quelled, but it was only in 1706, according to Kubler, or 1717a€“1722, according to Walters, that the church was reconstructed on a site just north of the original location. This edifice seems to have weathered the remainder of the eighteenth century and most of the nineteenth rather well, until its deterioration in the latter part of that century. Notwithstanding the clerestory and two "ill-made" windows that faced east, the friar noted that "this church is dark." The structure faced south, with the baptistry extending to the east and entered under the choir loft, which extended across the south end of the nave.
Curiously, the "whole wall around the sanctuary is painted blue and yellow from top to bottom like a tapestry, and not too badly." Coloring an entire wall, rather than a wainscot, was rare in mission interiors and was probably intended to add a celestial and regal touch to the backdrop of the high altar, itself made only of adobe. At the time San Ildefonso contained 111 families with 387 people.DomAnguez credited Father Juan de Tagle with instigating and funding the improvements to the church's fabric. Fray Juan de Tagle "built and founded" the church and convento, its dedication taking place on June 3, 1711. Arriving at San Ildefonso in 1701, he remained there almost 25 years, "a most singular record in post-Revolt New Mexico, where missionaries, like the swallows, transferred almost with the seasons."By 1881 the church stood in poor condition.
Bourke observed that the "church is very dilapidated and the rain runs through the roof in a perfect stream." The traditional problem of water leakage through a flat, earthen roof with parapet was inescapable, and the temptation to sheathe the structure with a pitched metal roof must have been strong. The church in its 1905 form was a modern building and may have been the reason Kubler wrote nothing about the church in the text of his book but relegated it to a small mention in the chronological table. Kubler mentioned that the chapel was placed perpendicularly to the main axis of the church, although DomAnguez's descriptions referred to the appendage as a porter's lodge. Open-air chapels may have taken a modified form in New Mexico, but they continued a tradition that developed in sixteenth-century Mexico when the number of converts was extreme and the available space within religious structures severely limited.
In the atrio, an enclosed courtyard that doubled as a campo santo, a small chapel was built as part of, or adjacent to, the main church.
From this location services could be held, catechism could be directed, and a greater number of celebrants could be accommodated.
The atrio represented a compromise between pragmatism and idealism; the courtyard was set off and defined as sanctified ground, although the full power and religiosity of an interior space were absent. An 1899 photograph of the San Ildefonso structure shows a simple three-bay construction of wood and adobe, which may have served a religious purpose, although this remains conjectural.In the mid-1950s the question arose as to how repairs to the church should be carried out. Apparently the elements had so seriously undermined its physical condition that a major reconstruction was considered necessary.
The ultimate solution was to construct a new church in the form of the old one documented in early photographs.
Would it be possible to recreate the aura of an old building without the original materials or the passage of time? Should the building replicate its predecessor or merely incorporate enough of the old features within a believable framework? Or should there be a new church built "in the spirit of tradition" but without slavishly imitating the old forms? All three approaches were problematic, particularly when the talent of the architecta€”and possibly the financial resources of the clienta€”were limited. In the case of San Ildefonso, however, the story had a relatively happy ending.Certainly there is no way to duplicate the feeling of adobe and mud plaster using cement stucco. The smoothness and imperviousness of hard stucco do not catch light or reflect time in the same way and to the same degree that soft mud plaster mixed with straw does. The purpose of stucco is to thwart time; it acquires the mark of history only through spalling and cracking. There is a hardness to the look of stucco, and that it weathers evenly, rather than unevenly, ensures that the form of a church will not change drastically over the years.
The towers and facade of the new church and the arch with its bell will never feel as comfortable and organic as the old structure; its edges will remain relatively precise, unlike the softened corners of adobe. Nevertheless, the merits and the suitability of the 1969 church, designed by McHugh and Hooker, Bradley P. Kidder and Associates, can cautiously be deemed a success.The interior of the church is more convincing, however, because the vigas and the latillas that make up the roofing do continue the historic building tradition.
The single nave and the prominent presence of the transverse clerestory return to the congregation some of the character lost in the 1905 rebuilding. The nave tapers in the apse end, visually extending its length, while the clear light falling on the altar creates the appropriate visual focus.
The church faces roughly south, which guarantees a continual source of light from the clerestory throughout the day. To the east are a small convento and sacristy, and a campo santo fronts the church with its single cross.The church of San Ildefonso lies in the northwest segment of the pueblo, neighboring the two plazas that have now become one. Traditionally dancers emerged from the darkness of ceremonial spaces, such as the handsome kiva at the south end of the plaza. Yet on saints' days, in the blending of Catholic ritual and native religions, the church was integrated into the dance. At Isleta, for example, the Christmas dance began in the church and was completed out-of-doors. Prince published one image of a dance at San Ildefonso in which the entry portal of the campo santo was clearly present in the photograph, demonstrating how the plaza space before the church was used for the dance. To the north of the pueblo, and quite distinct from it, is the diminutive church of Santa Clara. The structure that stands today exhibits few of the qualities of the older building that collapsed early in this century and certainly none of its cautious grandeur.Evangelization earnestly began in 1598, the first mission at Santa Clara being established by Fray Alonso de Benavides somewhere between 1626 and 1629. It has 993 souls under its administration." If we judge by the amount of increased effort needed to rebuild the ruined church after the Reconquest, its dimensions could not have been impressive. Having no resident friar, Santa Clara witnessed no martyrdom at the hands of the Indians during the revolt, although Spaniards in the vicinity were killed.
The mission thereafter remained a visita of San Ildefonso, continuing its religious program when Bishop TamarA?n visited the province in 1760. Although the Indians and settlers of the mission assisted in this project, no levy was made for the purpose, since most of it was at the father's expense, as is shown by the fact that he supplied twenty yoke of oxen to cart the timbers and he fed the laborers gratis.When the roof of the nave was finished, the Indians and the settlers left the rest up to the father alone and to his industry.
Therefore, what was necessary to roof the transept and sanctuary was taken from alms, and with this he roofed it. The carpenters, in addition to being well paid, ate, drank, and lived in the convent at the father's expense for a period of two months in the winter, when the days are short in this region. That is to say, they ate and were paid more than they worked.While the church was under construction, mass was said in a small chapel or other convenient place. But its proportions were more exaggerated than the common church; in fact, Santa Clara at the time exceeded all other missions in narrowness. The reason, he explained, was that large vigas were more difficult to transport down the rough terrain of the canyons of the west side of the river than from the mountains to the east.The resulting nave reminded him of a cannon, so long (more than one hundred fifteen feet) and narrow (merely fourteen feet wide) was the nave.
There were transepts, each with a window at the end, and two additional windows on the south side to provide continued light for the nave.
The roof contained an unusually high number of vigas, forty-seven he counted; they were of limited diameter and were installed at short intervals to achieve the strength necessary to support the heavy earthen roof. The floor was of earth in the nave, the baptistry, and, naturally, the cemetery.Over the entry was a small arch with a bell. The nave appears as a prone figure, almost like a Gulliver tied down by Lilliputians, so elongated and grotesque is it in relation to the surrounding pueblo structures. The ceiling is formed of pine vigas with a flooring of rough split pine slabs, upon which is laid the earthen roof.
In one arm of the transept, were a collection of sacred statues, dolls, crosses, and other appurtenances of the church.
The altarpiece, though much decayed, is greatly above the average of church paintings to be found in New Mexico.
It is a panel picture, with an ordinary daub of Santiago in the top compartment and a very excellent drawing of Santa Clara in the principal place.
The drawing, coloring, and expression of countenance are unusually good and I don't blame the Indians for being so proud of their Patroness. A confessional and pulpit occupy opposite sides of the nave.Before 1903 it was decided that the chronically leaking flat roof should be covered by a metal pitched roof, which would solve the water problems once and for all, while the eastern facade would be trimmed with a crisp gable.
The old roof was removed with its supporting timbers, and during a terrific storm the walls fell, the same as at Nambe, and this historic landmark was utterly destroyed.Prince's version of the events was more emphatic: "So the old timbers were removed and a modern roof placed on the adobe walls and alas! That is to say, although possessing none of the extreme dimensions or proportions, it had roughly the same facial characteristics as its predecessor: flat, with two peaks at its corners and a small bell arch in the center of the pediment.
Gray beige in color and surrounded by an earthen cemetery, only clusters of artificial flowers provide points of bright colors. The interior is just the contrast: long and low, perhaps in the old manner, it is now illuminated mostly by windows with milled window frames.
Painted decorations line the walls, rendered a brilliant pink color (1981) in the sanctuary area. Sadly, there is no clerestory or increased elevation to the ceiling of vigas over the chancel areas. In contrast to the mostly single-story texture of the pueblo, the chapel and church stand more than two stories high. Built of stone and brick, rather than of native adobe, their Neo-Gothic style contrasts distinctly with the prismatic earthen masses of the low-lying native dwellings. There appears to be no existing common ground between these buildings of two cultures, and the inevitable conclusion is that it is the Christian structures that remain foreign to the site.As early as 1915a€”just two years after the construction of the present churcha€”L. Bradford Prince lamented the passing of the earlier adobe sanctuary it replaced, although he added that "no one can fail to revere the devotion which has thus laid its gifts upon the altar, and has made this little Indian pueblo a center of ecclesiastical artistic beauty." His reference was to the generosity of Father Camille Seux, who tended San Juan for more than half a century and was responsible for the building of the church.
And while the aesthetic merits and appropriateness of the structure's style might be questioned, they serve as excellent examples of Catholic building at the turn of the twentieth centurya€”illustrating the overlay of alien styles on the traditional foundation of Hispanic-Native architecture.San Juan Pueblo lies some twenty-eight miles north of Santa Fe on the eastern bank of the Rio Grande. Situated between two forks of the river systema€”near the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Chama Rivera€”the pueblo's rich alluvial plains have provided excellent and continued yields.
The distant mountains, considered sacred by the people, provide a dramatic backdrop for the village. The inhabitants are said to have willingly allowed the Spanish to occupy their village, although, as Ortiz commented, the pueblo's side of the story has not been passed down to us.
Although records do not provide a description of the early church, it is believed that the San Juan enterprise included a church, a convento, and the "necessary (auxiliary) facilities for missionary work."Relations between the pueblo and the Spanish were hardly amiable. As was characteristic of so many New Mexican pueblo stories, the first mutual antagonisms were fanned by the Spanish persecution of native religions and exploitation of Indian labor and resources. Two adobe tables nearby, however, DomAnguez termed "hideous."In 1776 the population stood at sixty-one families with 201 people, a figure that, if accurate, recorded the village's continuing decline. The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were relatively uneventful at San Juan, with religious and domestic life maintaining a sleepy pace. Emory was a part, bypassed the Rio Grande pueblos on its way to Santa Fe and California as the territory quietly joined the dominions of the United States.Of far greater impact on the church institution was the establishment of the new diocese in Santa Fe in 1853.
With the installation of Jean-Baptiste Lamy as bishop, the traditional simple mud church structures underwent considerable modification. Lamy brought a new view to New Mexico: the church should raise the educational and aesthetic standards of the parishes.
To achieve the second, existing structures were substantially renovated, at times to the point of unrecognizability.A number of Lamy's priests came from France, like the bishop himself.
The parish church in Santa Fe became the new cathedral, a considerable stone structure in a Romanesque style. Isleta, under Father Etienne Parisis, assumed a Neo-Gothic guise that was curious at best and bizarre at worst, a wooden Gothic crown on an adobe base. San Juan underwent a similar transformation.The architectural developments of these years, as several authors have noted, must be seen as congruent with the generosity of Fray Camille Seux. Seux, known in a more familiar Spanish form as Padre Camilo, was born in Lyons, France, in 1838 and issued from a family of means. When a statue of the Virgin, a full-size copy of the one at Lourdes, attracted a flock of pious visitors, he built a chapel to accommodate them.
The chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, built in 1890, was seen by certain contemporaries as a landmark in northern New Mexico, what Prince termed "an architectural jewel set down on the edge of a desert." The single-nave chapel, constructed of red stone with characteristic angular apse and buttresses, was a decent essay in the style, although foreign to the local architectural tradition.
Padre Camilo was buried within the chapel in 1922.During the early part of the twentieth century the church of San Juan Bautista no doubt suffered the ravages of time and the elements. The new pitched roof helped retard water leakage, but the walls beneath it were still adobe and were therefore prone to the extensive expansion and contraction that cause cracking.
The hard plaster covering created additional problems by trapping water behind its surface and preventing evaporation. Padre Camilo also saw a new church as his ultimate gift to San Juan Pueblo and the surrounding peoples. Built of brick, its design was not particularly distinguished, but with the Lourdes chapel across the street, the church created a suitable backdrop for the statue of the Virgin.That these two structures abut the traditional field of the pueblo may cause some consternation to the visitor.
They are without question imports, sharing neither the soil nor the profile of the traditional buildings.
In 1929 he wrote:While it [the new church] is a fine, substantial building and would be a credit to any New England town or some other eastern village, the style of architecture is very incongruous out there in the sun-baked desert, surrounded by adobe Indian houses centuries old. It is so strangely out-of-keeping with its surroundings in a land where everything is Spanish that it strikes a harsh, discordant note, and leaves an unpleasant thought of what would otherwise be an ideal visit to old San Juan.The contemporary critic with less of a romantic streak might find curiosity instead of harsh discord.
The distance between the look of vernacular building and that of the church and chapel lucidly depicts the relationship between the architectural and ecclesiastical views of the modern clergy and the tastes of the people. The eighty years that have elapsed since the construction of the two sanctuaries have done little to soften the basic disparity, except by adding the ruddy dust that inevitably coats all buildings in the area. The lesson seems obvious: architecture is a statement of the values behind its construction. When Santa Fe was resettled after the successful return of the Spanish under the leadership of Diego de Vargas in 1693, the town could support only a limited number of people. The founding of Santa Cruz was intended to alleviate the problem, at least for a specific group of settlers.Santa Cruz occupies the north side of a fertile valley watered by the Santa Cruz River about twenty miles north of Santa Fe. Prior to the Pueblo Revolt there were some scattered ranchos and haciendas on the gentle slopes loosely confederated as La CaA±ada. On August 11, 1680, they attempted in vain to fortify themselves at Santa Cruz; but their efforts were unsuccessful, and they were forced to flee. During the twelve-year Spanish absence, a mixture of Tano Indians from Galisteo, San Cristobal, and San Lazaro, experiencing difficulties once again with their traditional rivals, the Pecos Indians, moved into the valley, in time forming what Prince termed "quite a large community."When Vargas retook Santa Fe and set up domestic and political housekeeping, he was faced with a land shortage. The problem was further escalated when a group of colonists from Zacatecas, Mexico, arrived in 1694 and requested land on which to establish homesteads. The governor looked north and decided on the valley of La CaA±ada, basing his claims to the land on settlement by the Spanish prior to the revolt. Vargas urged the Indians to move farther up the valley and in a gesture of good faith postponed the actual date of removal until the following year.
The new colony was to be called "La Villa Nueva de Santa Cruz de Los EspaA±oles Mejicanos del Rey Nuestro SeA±or Carlos Segundo" (The New Town of Holy Cross of the Spanish Mexicans of the King Our Master Carlos II), a cumbersome name in either language for such a small town.
Records usually refer to it more simply as La Villa Nueva de Santa Cruz de la CaA±ada (The New Town of Holy Cross of the Gentle Valley). The "new" in the title refers to a small community existing before the floundering in 1680 and the subsequent establishment of the new one.
Before construction began, however, the entire town was reestablished on higher ground removed from the threat of the floods that had been bothersome in the past. A widow, one Antonia Serna, donated "the necessary land for the church which had already been started, since it was for the religious, and that for their protection and that of the church, she was giving sufficient land in order that in all four directions the citizens might build the houses they liked in the form of streets, with the church in the middle."The size of the structure was probably meager, and it was noticeably lacking in either construction expertise or maintenance. During his three or so years at Santa Cruz, he completed an altar rail and an altar screen and carved santos of various sorts.
His strongly emotional and evocative image of the dead Christ, the Santo Entierro, still occupies a niche in the south wall and records the efforts of one of New Mexico's first santeros.Enter Fray Francisco Atanasio DomAnguez on his tour of the missions in 1776. In his fastidious fashion DomAnguez recorded that the church was built of adobe, faced east to its plaza, contained a clerestory, and had the typical steps up to the sanctuary. But alas the choir could not sing in its usual place, he noted, because there was no choir loft. There were four windows with wooden gratings, one in each wall of the transept on the Gospel (south) side, two in the nave on the south wall, and another over the main door. The roof construction, however, was unusual: "The roof of this church is arranged differently from the usual, for there are five cross timbers consisting of three strong beams at regular intervals as far as the mouth of the transept.
The altar for the Third Order occupied the Gospel side of the chancel, although the Carmel chapel extended to the north. Its furnishings were scant.Like TamarA?n, DomAnguez was not impressed with the disposition of the town.
The church, then, is in the place I described with eight small houses like ranchos to keep it company. The rest of the villa is nothing more than ranchos located at a distance.The church had ministration of Chimayo, Quemado, and Truchas further up the valley. The elements of God and nature, however, in conjunction with the passage of time never ceased their effect on adobe construction.Visitors to Santa Cruz were continually impressed by the size of the church, but never by its quality of finish.
TamarA?n condemned its bareness; DomAnguez and Guevara cared little for the aesthetics of its painting, with the exception of the altar screen. The church yard or cemetery is thirty varas square with a gallery all around having wooden pillars and a good roof but without drain spouts, and with its main gate.
In the center is a wooden cross on a flat-topped pedestal."Santa Cruz remained a sleepy town during the first half of the nineteenth century, although it was a battle site in the revolution of 1837. During the insurrection of 1847 the villa witnessed another key shootout, which ultimately led to the destruction, by cannon and fire, of the Taos pueblo church of San JerA?nimo. Father Juan de JesA?s Trujillo left a report in 1867 that credited his own efforts for changes and repairs to the church.
There is another choir loft at the door of the church held by supports added during my tenure."French taste arrived with Archbishop Lamy in the 1860s and reached Santa Cruz shortly thereafter. Kessell credited either Reverend Jean Baptiste Courbon, who lived at Santa Cruz from 1869 to 1874, or Reverend Lucien Remuzon, in residence from 1875 to 1880, with the incredible transformation of the exterior of the church at that time. The bulk of adobe bricks piled one on the other in walls five feet thick remained in evidence, but its mass was disguised beneath an ornamental treatment that could have rivaled pastry decoration. The walls were left unplastered, or at least the brick units were exposed, and each wall was capped with decorative spun finials. Two tiny arches capped the pediment, forming a transition between the towers and the slope of the pediment. The entirety was aesthetically provocativea€”some evocative conjuring of an exotic conglomerate style that seems to rate the name of Primitive-Moorish-African-French or any combination of these in any order. Decorations of that sort exposed to natural forces too much surface area for their mass, a property that hastened the disintegration of unfired earthen material.
No doubt, the lovely and charming French efforts began to melt almost as soon as they were completed, if not before.At this time, however, additional windows had been added to the church, the sole source of lighting having been the clerestory and the window that illuminated the choir.
In a William Henry Jackson interior photo of 1881 the handsomely proportioned interior, with its rough whitened walls, heavy vigas and corbels, and gently rising packed earth floor, appears sparse, yet focused. The Santo Entierro still occupies its niche in the south wall, and the old altarpiece is now mounted on the north wall of the nave. A baldachin covers the altar extending into the nave, and the pulpit to which DomAnguez so strongly objected is not to be seen. Another of Jackson's photos, this one an exterior, shows the walls melted down to three feet, fragments of the parapet decoration of the north chapel still remaining and one iron cross on the north tower sadly askew. Full atonement for the comparative obscurity of the parts of the sacred edifice occupied by the Congregation was made in the illumination of the chancel which blazed in the golden glory of a hundred tallow candles. Four windows in the nave, two on the north wall, two on the south wall, were cut in 1918 by Anastacio LujA?n, who is also credited with plastering the exterior. The wall around the campo santo eroded further and in time was reduced to a wire and pole fence.
A transom was installed over the main entrance, and the earthen floor was replaced by a level wooden floor set on sleepers. The enlarged windows were to some degree a necessity because the clerestory had been lost when the pitched roof was added. One window, however, high on the south wall in the sanctuary, effectively replaced the directional clerestory light that had fallen on the altarpiece.In 1974 the Santa Cruz church was designated a National Historic Site. Shortly thereafter the church council requested architect Nathaniel Owings to prepare a master plan for the church's restoration, which was undertaken in association with Johnson-Nestor, Architects, of Santa Fe.
Its report reviewed the history of the church as well as its current context and condition. The findings recommended that the transom over the door be removed to improve the scale of the building and that a high wall be reinstated around the campo santo to create a more significant transition to the plaza, which had been reduced over time to a traffic crossroads. The plaster on the towers should be removed to expose the stone construction; in fact, all cement plaster should be replaced by mud plaster, the report stated. Repairs should be made to the wooden floor where necessary, and in the transepts and in other areas of low use, earthen floors should replace the concrete, tying the church back into its past. The report also recommended the reinstallation of the baldachin, the pulpit (Pace DomAnguez!), and the choir loft in the north chapel.More radically, the architects suggested that the north windows be sealed and that the size of the south windows be reduced to recreate more of the feeling of the original illumination in the nave. The metal roof should remain, the recommendation said, meaning that the clerestory itself could not be freed; the reasoning here suggested that the high metal roof was now common in the architectural vernacular of the New Mexican mountains and that with it the church had acquired a certain familiarity. Certainly the hulking roof had become almost as much the image of the church as the adobe beneath it. It was a curious and unique form, derived from its leaping over the clerestories in each of the transepts.Not all the work was carried out.
In the late 1970s priority was given to the restoration of the artworks, some of which were in a precarious state of preservation. The cement plaster in the interior was stripped and replaced with mud plaster covered with tierra blanca. Certain portions of the exterior walls were stabilized, and some attempts at land-scaping the campo santo were undertaken. The grounds of the church and the plaza it fronts are almost always dusty, which can either be annoying or atmospheric, depending on the visitor's mood.
The two-leaved doors, although eroded by exposure to the elements, are still beautiful, with graceful, yet simple carvings applied to the panels. In 1981 the transom above the door was blocked: not in adobe as prescribed by the restoration report but with a piece of plywood covering the broken glass. Inside, the newly restored altar screen glows yellow with the brilliant light from the south sanctuary window. The art in the church is splendid and includes several works by Rafael AragA?n, a noted mid-nineteenth-century santero who is buried in the church.
The parish seems to thrive, with 1,400 families registered, according to a 1980 article, and is committed to restoring and maintaining the structure and its art.In 1920 the administration of the church was turned over to the Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family from Barcelona, Spain, in whose care it remains today. There is a solidity to the church anchored to the earth by its eastern facade: the two squat towers sitting on their portly bases.
From a distance the structure appears almost toylike; from closer the toy is transformed into powerful bulk. Notwithstanding his dislike of the more gory aspects of Hispanic colonial art, Bourke could still wax poetic about Santa Cruz.
Sleeping out in the plaza in 1881, he awoke: "The rising sun threw against the sapphire sky the angles and the outline of the old church, bringing out with fine effect its quaint construction and excellent proportions. These include a noted restaurant that draws diners from all around the state, the continuation of the Ortega family's long tradition of Chimayo blankets, the growing of small apples and apricots, and the Santuario de Chimayo, which has attracted pilgrims from an extremely large area for almost two centuries.With the Reconquest of 1693 came a steady influx of Spanish and Mexican settlers into northern New Mexico. Santa Fe already contained its fill and could provide land for neither shelter nor agriculture. To the south the land was less fertile, much of it already occupied by the sedentary pueblos, and so Diego de Vargas, seeking a solution, looked north. Colonizing San Gabriel had provided a familiarity with the mountain valley lands between Santa Fe and Taos (the zone that runs along what is now known as the High Road to Taos).
Vargas's first effort was to relocate the Tano Indians who had been living in the Galisteo basin to the Chimayo valley farther north and east, vacating the lands for the "reinstituted" settlement of Santa Cruz. The Indians had little time to establish thriving farms because hardly a year later increased pressure for land by the Spanish forced them to move once again. The Spanish incessantly spread out, usually moving north into the Chimayo valley, occupying and farming the fertile, protected valleys irrigated more or less automatically by mountain streams.The land, however, was hardly quiet or free of danger, and the Indians did not always accept their displacement willingly or without a fight.
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