Archive for the 'San Albino' Category

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

The Hermit of La Cueva – The Movie

A Brazilian film company, Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA, is making a documentary about Giovanni Maria de Agostini, the “Hermit of Las Cueva,” based on the book Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Wonder of the Century — The Astonishing World Traveler Who Was A Hermit.

Shooting began in New Mexico in September, 2017. From New Mexico, shooting will move to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Italy. Final shooting is expected to be completed in late September, 2018.


Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA), shooting for the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at Dripping Springs Nature Area. The entrance to La Cueva is at the base of the distant rock formation.


Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, and Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA), shooting for the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” in La Cueva (the cave) at Dripping Springs Nature Area.


Shooting the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at San Albino Basilica, Mesilla, New Mexico. Left to right: Juliana Baratieri, Sound Engineer, Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, Dr. Alexandre Karsburg, consultant, Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA).

Giovanni Maria de Agostini was born in Sizzano, Italy, in 1801, the son of poor farm workers. He left home at 21 and spent the next 17 years traveling extensively in Europe. During this time he developed two seemingly contradictory aspirations: a fervent desire to devote his life to “perfect solitude” and an astonishing urge to travel incessantly.

In 1839, Agostini joined a Maronite Christian monastery in Rome, and then immediately left for South America.

In South America Agostini visited Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile multiple times. During this spectacular solo Odyssey, he survived a trip down the Amazon River by canoe, crossed the Andes by foot several times, walked vast distances, and endured living alone in scalding deserts and sub-zero mountains. In spite of oppressive and infuriating obstacles, including death threats, unjust arrest, deportation, jail, and forced confinement in a mental asylum, Agostini persisted undeterred in the solemn goal he set for himself when he left Europe.

After 21 years in South America, Agostini traveled to Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. After arriving in New York, he walked to Canada and then “went West,” eventually reaching, in the midst of the American Civil War, the Territory of New Mexico.

Hermit’s Peak near Las Vegas, NM is named after Agostini.


Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico, named after Giovanni Maria de Agostini. Town of Gallinas, New Mexico, in foreground.


Interview with Mr. Joe Blea, a third-generation resident of Gallinas, New Mexico. Mr. Blea’s grandfather knew Giovanni Maria de Agostini.


“Hermit of Las Vegas” film crew preparing to climb Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico.


View from the top of Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico.

In 1869, Agostini was murdered at “La Cueva,” the cave in the Organ Mountains’ Dripping Springs Natural Area. He is buried in the Mesilla cemetery.


Shooting the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at Giovanni Maria de Agostini’s grave, Mesilla, New Mexico. Left to right: Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography, Juliana Baratieri, Sound Engineer (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA).


Friday, April 25th, 2008

Mesilla Museum Display

The opened this evening with a dedication ceremony featuring the Mayor of Mesilla and many Mesilla citizens. A welcome part of the opening ceremony was a display of some of the materials being collected for the Mesilla Museum, which will emphasize the history of Mesilla, including it’s role in the saga.

Billy the Kid was tried in the courthouse on the Mesilla plaza in April, 1881 for two killings. He was acquitted of the killing of Andrew A. “Buckshot” Roberts, which occurred on April 4, 1878. He was convicted of the killing of Sheriff William Brady, which happened a few days before, on April 1, 1878.

The sentence for the killing of Sheriff Brady was death by hanging, to be carried out May 13, 1881. That didn’t happen, of course, because Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln jail 15 days before he was to be hung. The hanging was to be carried out in because that’s where the killing of Sheriff Brady had occurred.

The most intriguing item on display this evening was the barber chair where Billy the Kid was given a haircut before his trial. The chair is privately owned and was being displayed only for the ceremony.

The chair was manufactured in the early 1870s. It was re-covered in the 1980s, before the current owner acquired it. The reupholstering covered up several bullet holes that were in the chair, of unknown origin.

The permanent display in the center includes numerous historical Mesilla photos.

Here’s a photo of the original San Albino church, which was torn down when the current church was constructed in 1908:

Here’s a photo of the consecration of the new San Albino church in 1908:

Here’s a picture of the Mesilla plaza in 1900. The first San Albino can be seen in the distance.

Here’s a picture of the Fountain Theatre taken about 1930:

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See also:
Billy the Kid’s Grave
Did Billy the Kid Stay at La Posta in Mesilla?
Billy the Kid Display – Mesilla
Saving the Pat Garrett Marker
Billy’s DNA
Old Mesilla Courthouse
Billy the Kid
Fountain Theater – History


Sunday, January 7th, 2007


Mesilla caught up with the rest of New Mexico this morning and got snow — the first this winter. There are years in which Mesilla gets no snow.

Here’s what San Albino looked like as the snow came down.

An adobe off the plaza:

The Rio Grande:

A pecan orchard:

About 1 pm the sun came out and the snow was mostly gone by evening.

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Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Mesilla Plaza – Christmas

Taken this evening on the Plaza, looking toward San Albino.

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Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Rain Today

We’ve had about 20 hours of slow rain. It’s welcome and very pleasant, but comes at a bad time for local farmers.

San Albino this morning:

The Fountain Theater:

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Friday, September 8th, 2006

San Albino Skyward

San Albino
Another view of San Albino.

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Saturday, August 26th, 2006

San Albino Pictures

Here’s a view of the Mesilla plaza at twilight.

Here are two more views of San Albino.



Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Mesilla Plaza

The Mesilla plaza. You can see the San Albino Catholic Church at the end of the plaza.