Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe (must see)

The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe is a former Roman Catholic church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel. It is known for its unusual helix shaped spiral staircase (the "Miraculous Stair"), that may have been created by French carpenter Francois-Jean "Frenchy" Rochas, although the Sisters of Loretto credit St. Joseph with its constructionIn 1872 Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Bishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese, commissioned the building of a convent chapel to be named Our Lady of Light Chapel, which would be in the care of the Sisters of Loretto.

The chapel was designed by French architect Antoine Mouly in the Gothic Revival style, complete with spires, buttresses, and stained glass windows imported from France. Although it was built on a much smaller scale, the chapel bears an obvious resemblance to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The architect died suddenly and it was only after much of the chapel was constructed that the builders realized it was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft. Due to the chapel's small size, a standard staircase would have been too large. Historians have also noted that earlier churches of the period had ladders rather than stairs to the choir loft, but the Sisters did not feel comfortable with that prospect because of the long habits that they wore. The Loretto Chapel is now a museum and no longer functions as a church, but weddings may be arranged, including a highlight of the couple being photographed while standing on the spiral staircase. There is an entrance fee for the chapel. It is owned by a private company.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 4:30 pm; Sunday: 10:30 am – 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Santa Fe, New Mexico within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Loretto Chapel on Map

Sight Name: Loretto Chapel
Sight Location: Santa Fe, USA
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Religious Walking Tour in Santa Fe   City Orientation Walk  

Walking Tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Fe

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Fe

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santa Fe is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Walking Tour in Santa Fe

Religious Walking Tour in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has many beautiful churches, some of them dating back to the foundation of the city. Take this self-guided tour to discover the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s artifacts, see the oldest church in the country and enjoy collections of Italian Renaissance and Mexican Baroque paintings.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

With the Sangre de Cristo mountains at the backdrop, Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, has long been a place attracting creative minds. The latter is obvious in the signature local Pueblo-style architecture. Founded by the Spanish back in the early 17th century, the city has traditional Plaza at its center surrounded by crooked streets and plethora of historic buildings, such as the Palace of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Santa Fe Art Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

Santa Fe Art Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

As the oldest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe contains a lot of historical architecture, some dating back to the Spanish Colonial era. It also has many fine museums and galleries, most of them located near the historic downtown plaza. Take this self-guided tour to see Santa Fe’s best museums and galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Shopping in Santa Fe

Shopping in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has a wide range of shops where you can find unique gifts, including local handicrafts. Much of the city’s shopping consists of independent retailers. Take this walking tour to find a souvenir to remember your trip to Santa Fe.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Canyon Road Cultural Walk, Santa Fe

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Canyon Road, Santa Fe’s richest historical street, houses exclusive galleries, museums and specialty shops. Take a walk in this area to discover Native American and modern art, historical architecture, sculpture and gorgeous gardens.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Museums of Santa Fe Walking Tour

Museums of Santa Fe Walking Tour

Museum Hill, on the southeast side of the city, contains several museums devoted to Native American and international folk art. Take this self-guided tour to discover the culture and traditions of Native Americans.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles