The Oldest Church in America

            A rustic sign in front of San Miguel’s Chapel states “the oldest church structure in America”. But is it?

This adobe church was originally built in Santa Fe in 1610, by Tlaxcalan Indians and Catholic Padres. Santa Fe, New Mexico became part of the United States in 1848, after the Mexican-American War.

Prior to 1610 there were buildings used for religious purposes. Taos Pueblo built between 1000 and 1450, contains kivas used for religious purposes and has been continuously inhabited up to the present.

Acoma Pueblo was built between 1000 and 1200 and also contains kivas. Despite the Spaniards attempt to destroy the Pueblo and all of its people in 1598, there are still Acoma Indians living there in a traditional manner. Thousands of tourists visit this “SkyCity” near Albuquerque, New Mexico every year.

Whenever Americans research the history of their country, they must remember all of the people who lived within its boundaries and continue to worship sacred sites.


7 responses »

  1. We saw this when we were in Santa Fe. Leaving for Sun City West on Thursday. Be back Feb 20. Hope to get in some good biking.

    Sent from the Hollingsed’s iPad


  2. Interesting,Terri. My friend who moved to St. Augustine is always telling me that it is the oldest still settled city in the country. Love Santa Fe & Taos.

    • It is interesting that St. Augustine, FL is reported to be the Oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental US. There is a fort there, built in 1672 and a house from 1723. Since the Palace of Governors in Santa Fe was built in 1610, I don’t know what their criteria is for European-established settlements. I remember my jaw dropping the first time I went to Santa Fe and realized the East Coast was not the first settled.

    • I believe the St. Augustine founders are making a distinction between places settled by Europeans who came to Florida directly versus the Spanish Army, who marched north from Mexico. Also the oldest buildings in Santa Fe were destroyed during a rebellion, read Death to the Archbishop, by Willa Cather. Possibly when they were rebuilt, they were no longer considered continuously inhabited. Still, historians are disregarding the “churches” which were part of the Taos and Acoma Pueblos.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 6:17 PM, journeyswithjosie wrote:


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