Scenic USA - New Mexico

San Felipe de Neri Church

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San Felipe de Neri Church - Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Historic Old Town, founded in 1706, is located in the heart of Albuquerque and remains as the city's cultural center. The Old Town Plaza, a charming open square, is surrounded by park benches, quaint shops, galleries, museums and restaurants. The San Felipe de Neri Church dominates the Old Town skyline, one of the Plaza's adobe structures that date to 1793.San Felipe de Neri Church The original church, named San Francisco Xavier, was established in 1706 when 30 families moved into the area from Bernalillo. The name was later changed to honor the new king of Spain, King Philip.
     Replacing the church building which collapsed during a rainy summer in 1792, today's church was constructed the following year. Its two prominent towers were added in 1861. Although the church has undergone several periods of renovation over the last two centuries, its five foot thick adobe walls are the original. Continuing masses (some still in Spanish) for over 300 years, liturgical and pastoral services are still offered regularly. Even though Albuquerque has grown up around Old Town with eleven distinct neighborhoods, it manages to retain its old world character. Descendents from the original village still attend the San Felipe Church, and hungry customers continue to dine at the 300 year old Church Street Cafe in Old Town Square.

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