Over the holidays my family took a little trip North of Santa Fe to Chimayo. Chimayo is along the high road to Taos and a beautiful drive, very scenic and many historic sites to visit. New Mexico is a beautiful state with a very rich history. I have driven on this road so many times in my life, and used to go to Rancho de Chimayo restaurant for Easter when I was growing up. It was always a special occasion to take the drive through Nambe, over the rolling hills studded with pinon and juniper trees to find the small town of Chimayo. The Santuario there is believed to have been built on sacred earth that has miraculous healing powers. It was built in 1814 and is filled with traditional Hispanic santero art, with carved images everywhere and beautiful painted altar screens. To the left of the altar is a little room and a separate shrine with a pit that contains the holy earth. Thousands of people make pilgrimages to the church during Holy Week to arrive on Good Friday and it is a custom to take a little earth from the shrine for it's mysterious powers. The room off the shrine is filled with momentos of those who have been healed. Crutches, braces, and pictures fill every nook and cranny in the little room.
Santo Nino Chapel is also in Chimayo and the sweetest church I have ever seen. The inside is filled with carved trees filled with colorful carved wood birds. There are colors everywhere and paintings of children and saints. It is a church for children.
Unfortuneately pictures are not allowed inside the churches without prior permission. I look forward to my next visit to see the beautiful artwork addorning the inside of these special churches.
Church in Cundiyo, NM
Sacred Heart church in Nambe, NM
Rancho de Chimayo restaurant
Santuario de Chimayo
Santo Nino de Atocha Chapel