Quarai - Salinas Pueblo Missions
I visited Quarai afterhours which was the best of all possible times to go. I had the place to myself. Quarai seemed to be the best preserved of the three Salinas Pueblo missions. I'm not sure how much of the Mission's stone work is original and how much as been restored. Most of the ruins in parks and monuments in the Southwest have had their mortar entirely replaced and many have been partially rebuilt.
Quarai had been a large Puebloan community for hundreds of years when the Spanish first visited in 1598. The Quarai mission was established by the Spanish in 1626. The town then collapsed and was abandoned in 1678. Curiously, this is 3 years after the Spanish were ejected from most of New Mexico during the Pueblo revolt. The site remained empty from 1678 until the 1800s.
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