Pecos National Historic Historical Park, New Mexico
Around 1620 the Spanish chose the important village of Pecos as the location for what became “by far the largest Spanish mission erected in all of New Spain.” The Franciscans used Indian labor to build a church of more than 6,000 square feet, a prominent, shining, white-washed edifice visible for a great distance. The convento, an area where the friars worked, lived, and taught, stretched south from the church. The original church was burned and partially dismantled, and the priest killed, in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. It was subsequently rebuilt, at least in part, in the same location in the years after the Spanish reconquest in 1692 and the remains of the 1717 version of the church are still evident. Also evident at lower left in this image is a kiva. Some lore suggests that the kiva was built inside the convento after the revolt as a token of contempt for the imposed religion of the friars, but this is not certain. Its location within the convento raises profound historical questions.
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