A Secret Treasure In The City Different
New Mexico's capital city, Santa Fe, is world famous for it's rich history, museum quality art, and signature "Santa Fe style". Visitors flock to the City Different to buy legit Native American jewelry, don their best "Southwest" outfit and pursue enlightenment while navigating impossibly narrow roads in the reluctant metropolis that relies on tourism but rejects the concept of city planning.
Any visitor worth their salt will plan to see the Loretto Chapel, San Miguel Mission, The Palace Of The Governors, La Fonda Hotel, Georgia O'Keefe Museum, and all the art galleries on Canyon Road just to get warmed up.
As for myself, I like to seek out the places where the tourists are not. Places that don't sell Kokopelli incense burners or Pendleton blankets and where nothing is adorned with a howling coyote.
A Little Chapel On The Hill
La Capilla de San Ysidro Labrador had been on my bucket list for a long time. I had come across pictures of it on the internet now and then and was immediately fascinated. The only problem was a consistent lack of information. Every photo I found of the chapel described it as being "on a hillside on the outskirts of Santa Fe". If you've ever been to Santa Fe, you know that "on a hillside" doesn't exactly narrow down the list of possible locations.
After a bit of crowd sourcing, I was eventually able to find the chapel located near 1154 Cerro Gordo Rd. in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Word to the wise, there is no parking, the chapel is surrounded by a barbed wire fence adorned with No Trespassing Signs and a surveillance camera and, on top of all that, the entrance is barricaded as well. Don't get your hopes up about going inside.
La Capilla de San Ysidro Labrador was built in the early 1930's by Lorenzo Lopez Sr. He dedicated the chapel to the patron saint of farmers, San Ysidro. After Lorenzo Lopez died the chapel fell into a state of disrepair. I'm not sure how old the photo is, but check out this image on the Historic Santa Fe Foundation website. As you can see, there are hardly any trees and the chapel looks pretty rough.
In the 1990's, Lorenzo's grandson, Ramon Jose Lopez (who is also a highly acclaimed artist), raised funds to restore the chapel. It is said that, whenever possible, he used his grandfather's original tools to complete the work.
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I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.