"The San Felipe de Neri Church" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos


The San Felipe de Neri Church is a Roman Catholic church that dominates the north side of the plaza in Old Town Albuquerque. Completed in 1793, it is the oldest church in Albuquerque, and one of the oldest buildings in the city.

An earlier church was constructed by Fray Manuel Moreno, a Franciscan priest, on the west side of the plaza between 1706 and 1719. The founder of Albuquerque, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, decreed that the church should be called the San Francisco Xavier Church to honor the Viceroy of New Spain, Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, Duke of Alburquerque. However, the Duke of Alburquerque demurred, and decreed that the church should be called the San Felipe de Neri Church, in honor of King Philip of Spain.

The original church, poorly constructed of adobe, collapsed in 1792 after an especially rainy summer. The present church was built on the north side of the plaza, and was completed in 1793. This time, the adobe walls were five feet (two meters) thick to make the building stronger.

During the following decades, additional work was done on the church. In 1853, the building was remodeled with a new roof, altar, and pulpit, and the church's two towers were added in 1861. A school for boys was added to the northwest corner of the building in 1878, and a convent for the Sisters of Charity was added to the west side in 1881.

The San Felipe de Neri Chuch has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Directions: The San Felipe de Neri Church is located at 2005 North Plaza NW, in Old Town Albuquerque.

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  • Updated Dec 7, 2010
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