August 10, 2013
The San Felipe de Neri Church
was founded in 1706.
It is the heart of Old Town Albuquerque,
which contains the church, the old governor's building,
and a collection of Route 66 type souvenir shops and restaurants
gathered around a central plaza.
In order for the earliest Spanish settlers to claim the region for Albuquerque,
they had to meet certain requirements.
One of those requirements was to establish a Catholic church.
The original town was built around this religious and political center.
It has continued to be an active Catholic parish with regular services
and a center for Albuquerque culture and activity in Old Town.