NileGuide Expert Says:
The miraculous staircase is one of the most visited sites in the Southwest. Loretto Chapel is just one block away from St. Francis Cathedral – be sure to see both.
207 Old Santa Fe Trail
Between Alameda and Water Sts
Santa Fe, NM 87501
tel: 505 982 0092
fax: 505 984 7921
Summer: 9a-6p M-Sa; 10:30a-5p Su; Winter: 9a-5p M-Sa; 10:30a-5p Su
Loretto Chapel carries a fascinating architectural legend, some say miraculous, which attracts thousands of curious visitors every yearly. When the church was completed in 1778 it was impossible to enter the choir loft without a ladder so the sisters made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters for a solution. On the ninth day, as legend has it, a carpenter appeared who, for months of solitary labor, built an elegant circular staircase without apparent visible support - a design unknown at the time. Upon completion the carpenter disappeared without a trace, without thanks or pay. Was it St. Francis himself? The chapel no longer belongs to the Catholic Church. It is a private museum and there is a gift shop on the premises.