Socorro Mission - La Purisima Catholic Church
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A Primer in Southwestern Design
Like the Yselta Mission, the Socorro Mission, whose original structure was completed in 1691, is one of the oldest mission churches in the Southwest. On the El Paso Mission Trail, the current building reflects Spanish, Indian, and Mission architectural styles: the stepped-back design of its façade, characteristic of Pueblo Indian patterns, belies the church’s linear, box-like form. Rough-hewn ceiling rafters (or vigas) made of cottonwood and cypress, and salvaged from the first mission church, distinguish the sanctuary’s interior. Like the Yselta Mission, Socorro was rebuilt twice because of flooding caused by the Rio Grande. Today, the church, located in Socorro about 15 minutes southeast of El Paso, is part of La Purísima Catholic Church in the diocese of El Paso.
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