Tucked away in sleepy New Mexico, which is a state in the USA, not to be confused with Mexico which is a country across the border from New Mexico, in Santa Fe, is a small chapel with a big claim to fame. The Loretto Chapel’s claim to fame is its beautiful stairway.
The stairway has no central pole to support it. It is held together with wooded pegs and gum. When it was built in 1877, there wasn’t even a handrail. This was added some years later.
The story goes that the Sisters of Loretto commissioned the chapel in 1873 as a part of a girl’s school, The Loretto Academy. The chapel was designed by Antoine Mouly and his son Projectus. The building took five years to finish and when it was almost complete Projectus died. The stairway hadn’t been built. No other architect was able to design a suitable stairway to access the Choir loft, in the small chapel.
It is said the Sisters prayed and after 9 days their prayers were answered. A mysterious stranger came and wanted to build the stairway. Some say he worked overnight, others say it took him 6 months. After the stairway was built he disappeared just as mysteriously as he appeared. The Sisters said it must have been St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. The twisted stairway was a marvel, because of the way it twisted its way up 20 ft to the loft without the central pole for support, as is usual with spiral stairways.
The school and chapel were used till 1968, after which is became a museum and wedding chapel. Today no one is allowed up the stairs. We can visit the chapel and wander around to admire the stained glass imported from France all those centuries ago and the now famous stairway.
The stairway became even more well-known after the movie “The Staircase” came out in the 90s. The movie focused on the miraculous story.
Santa Fe is also well-know for art, crafts and music. The area is known for its Spanish and Pueblo style architecture. The stucco surfaces and flat Pueblo-style roof became the signature of the city.
Next we will be exploring other attractions in New Mexico.
I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa Season 4.
Learn about the Rodeo in this link: https://ritecontent.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/the-rodeo-shows-denver-co/