San Miguel Mission Socorro New Mexico Courtyard View
Photograph - Photography-hdr
The San Miguel Mission in Socorro New Mexico has undergone a number of changes to style and restorations over the centuries. In November 2013, the Conrad Hilton Foundation awarded a $1.1 million grant. It is now restored, beautiful and an active Catholic Church.
Missions were important parts of the trade routes traveled by Spanish and Indian alike. During the Spanish colonial period in New Mexico, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Road of the Interior), was the major trade route between Mexico City and Santa Fe in New Mexico. The Royal Road passed the village of the Pilabó, home to the Piro Indians which is near today's Socorro, NM. The Piro met Spanish settlers when Oñate's expedition stopped there, and later a Franciscan mission was started in the early 1600s and the first was built on these grounds around 1626.
The mission and Piro settlement came to an end during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 which drove the Spanish and their Piro allies south to El Paso del Norte, today's Juarez, where the Piro and other Spanish and Pueblo immigrants created new villages and missions. The old villages remained empty until Hispanic settlers reoccupied the areas in the early 1800s, building the church visitors see in the City of Socorro today.