Loretto Chapel

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Loretto Chapel

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.

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207 Old Santa Fe Trail
Between Alameda and Water Sts
Santa Fe, NM 87501


505 982 0092


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.


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