The Church of San Francisco de Asis , at Ranchos de Taos is considered by many to be the most beautiful edifice in the State of New Mexico. A powerful and luminous landmark, it is as elegantly simple and dignified an example as ever graced a Southwest horizon.
The intimate connection in the Spanish mind between religion and everyday life is the inspiration for this magnificent building. It was built in the eighteenth century by the hands of Spanish settlers and their Pueblo Indian neighbors, who shaped and laid the adobe bricks of clay, sand and straw. In the summer of 1979, the descendants of these original architects rebuilt the church with methods and materials that have varied little in over 200 years.
Many artists, photographers and writers have tried to capture the ageless quality of the building's subtle lines and broad earthen planes. But to attempt this without also knowing the people and the land it serves is to miss the grandeur of its message. RANCHOS DE TAOS documents the joyful act of renovation and in so doing, presents the beauty, humanity, and the heritage of the famous church.