Friday, December 05, 2008

Presidio Chapel at San Elizario

Just outside El Paso, the Mission Trail offers visitors beautiful architecture in small border communities, as well as a window to the past.
The Mission Trail, of which this chapel in San Elizario is a part, has been a chapter of Spanish, Mexican and U.S. history since the Spanish colonial government chose Don Juan de Onate to organize an expedition to establish a "New Mexico." His caravan, with over two miles of carts, livestock, soldiers, wives, and clergy, traveled north through the Chihuahuan Desert until they reached the Rio Grande river, where Onate claimed the region for the King of Spain.
Mission churches and forts came later, and the presidio at this location (now San Elizario) was built in 1789. The present day chapel's exterior remains much the same as it did when it was built in 1882, however the interior had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1935.
For more information about the Chapel and the history of the Mission Trail, click here and here.
To download a brochure about the Mission Trail, visit this page.

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