Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe

star star star star star
New Mexico
Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe
More Like This

Loretto Chapel is a privately-owned church that has become a bit of a tourist trap. It's lovely to stroll around the outside of the church and admire its Gothic architecture. Inside, however, an informational recording is playing over and over, loudly, and it really ruins the atmosphere. It's also quite crowded with tourists inside the small church, and there is a $4 per person fee to enter. This is not what should happen to churches!

There is a spiral staircase inside the chapel that is built of wood with no central pole but with helix-shaped stringers, an unusual engineering feat and the subject of some legends. When the architect who made the chapel died suddenly, there was no way to get to the choir loft from the church, so the sisters decided to hire someone to build a staircase but no builder could find a solution for the cramped quarters. The sisters prayed for nine days and on the last day, a stranger appeared and offered to build the staircase. A historian later found out who the man was, a French-born rancher named Francois-Jean Rochas. Handrails and an iron support bracket were added at a later date.
The chapel was built at the same time as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi by the same architects. It was created for the Sisters of Loretto to use for their girls' school in the late 19th century. Built in Gothic Revival Style, it was made with buttresses, spires, and stained glass imported from France, and local sandstone. The sisters sold the chapel in 1968 when the girls' school merged with the local boys' school and closed down. 
After, walk around Santa Fe admiring the cute adobe houses with their colorful doors and window trims. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a three minute walk from the cathedral. Ten minutes will take you to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, where you can admire a little shrine to the Virgin of Gaudalupe.

Continue to directions...

Walking down the little lane to the chapel from the basilica.

Rosaries hung on a cherry blossom tree.

Cherry blossom tree, blue sky, and chapel.

Front altar.

The miraculous staircase.

Beautiful architecture.

Gothic spires.


Loretto Chapel is located at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. It costs $4 per person to enter.


Click on map for interactive view


Add your comments

Last Updated: Fri, 04 May 2018 13:22:54 GMT

Text and Image copyright: © 2006-2024 LotsaFunMaps.com.
Copying prohibited. Contact the editor | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram
Blog | The Official Mug | Privacy Settings | About Us