Quarai is about 10 miles straight north of Abó, and about 20 miles from Abó by taking Hwy 60 east to Mountainair, and then Hwy 55 north to Quarai. Quarai was a thriving village when the Spanish arrived at the end of the 16th Century, and was the seat of the New Mexico Inquisition during the 1600’s. Records show that the Inquisitioners in New Mexico at that time were fair and compassionate, and used the sophisticated Spanish legal system to protect the Indian’s civil and property rights.

Like Abó, the church at Quarai was oriented on a north/south axis and there is a Kiva on the east side of the church. Unlike Abó, the Kiva is square. The design of the church at Quarai has a traditional layout, but still had a flat roof. Its ruins look very much like a castle standing on the east side of the church, looking toward the west. The last photo is of a sketch on the site that depicts what the Pueblo would have looked like in the 17th Century.











9 thoughts on “Quarai

  1. I attended a very interesting and beautiful wedding there about 20 years ago, and it was impressive.
    But, I did not really appreciate the complexity of the architecture, as well as its size, until this last visit.
    Wonderful images, as always.

    • Thanks, Susan! The choir we sang with 10 years ago performed a concert in these ruins. I was surprised how good the acoustics were in the shell of the once great structure.

  2. Oh wow I love this post! All the photos stunning! I also love the diagram below. Wow isn’t it amazing what survived all this time? It looks odd to see grass doesn’t it. I can imagine it was all dirt and sand back in the 1600s. I love how the sky looks! The perspective you shoot from is really amazing! 😀

    • Thanks, Michelle. There were mega droughts in the area in the 1600’s which probably contributed to these pueblos being abandoned and the inhabitants moving into the Rio Grande Valley at the end of the 17th Century.

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