Historic Missions, Mountainair, New Mexico
Mission of San Gregorio de Abo Ruins
The Mission of San Gregorio de Abo is one of four ruins we explored while in New Mexico. These ruins were massive with a few smaller structures surrounding the Mission. The walls were stabilized for protection but don’t appear to be completely rebuilt like some of the other ruins we visited.
The Mission of San Gregorio de Abo, built in the late 1620's, is one of four missions built in the Salinas Province of early Spanish colonization in New Mexico which today comprise Salinas National Monument. The other three missions are La Purisma Conception de Cuarac, San Buenaventura, and San Isidro. The side of Abo was a thriving Pueblo community at the time Franciscans began to convert the resident Tompiro Indians in 1622, but was abandoned between 1672 and 1678. The Mission is notable for the construction method using buttresses to support relatively thin walls, a method used in European church architecture. San Gregorio de Abo is the only example of the use of this method for a seventeenth-century New Mexican church. Major excavation and stabilization was undertaken at the site in 1938-39. The National Park Service acquired the Mission in 1980 and the site was made a unit of Salinas National Monument.