MUSEUM Y CONVENTO
The Misión Museum is a replica based on
the 1944 University of New Mexico excavations of
the original church built by the Spanish at the
San Gabriel settlement in 1598. It contains original
artwork that portrays both the ancient history
and modern establishment of the Española
The art is in the form of traditional church decoration
from the past four centuries: altars with reredos
(altar screens), freestanding reredos, areñas
(wooden candleholders suspended by ropes from the
ceiling), bancos (seats), and wooden communion rails,
all constructed in the Spanish Colonial design.
These outstanding examples of woodwork, tinwork,
colcha embroidery, and painting were all produced
by local artists.
On the western interior wall hang fourteen coats-of-arms,
representing the 14 Spanish surnamed settlers who
came to the Española Valley in 1598 with
Juan de Oñate, their descendents living in
the area even today.