- Type: Landmarks
NileGuide Expert Says:
St. Francis Cathedral can be enjoyed for five minutes or two hours; it depends on your time and spirit.
- Just east of the Santa Fe Plaza lies one of North America's oldest Catholic churches: Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The basilica dates back to 1598 when Franciscan friars entered what is now New Mexico in the company of Spanish colonists from Mexico City. Archbishop Lamy commissioned this French Romanesque cathedral in 1869, and it took more than 15 years to complete. It is still maintained by the archdiocese of Santa Fe. This long-standing landmark houses many religious relics including the chalice used by Lamy and the oldest Madonna in the United States. Daily masses are held in the Cathedral and the public is welcome for tours and prayer. Outside the huge front doors is Our Lady of Conquistadora, the oldest representation of the Virgin Mary in the United States. Admission is free.
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