Friday, May 4, 2018

Wandering Around Santa Fe

We spent a day wandering around the old center of Santa Fe. There are 3 churches that are well worth a visit. The first is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

This is the third church built on this site, the first being built in 1626.

A beautiful baptismal font is right inside the front door.

Above the altar is a crucifix that is a replica of the one in Assisi, Italy.

The walls are a series of arches separated by Corinthian columns.

When I go into Catholic churches, I especially like to look at the Stations of the Cross. They are all different.

These are the most unique Stations of the Cross that I have seen, other than the ones I saw in Tahiti. (link here)

The most famous church in Santa Fe is the Loretto Chapel, now a privately owned museum and wedding venue.

It also has a beautiful altar and ceiling.

And the Stations of the Cross are really well done.

But the Chapel is most famous for its miraculous staircase. Built around 1880 by a mysterious carpenter, it rises 20 feet without the support of a central pole.

And in case you think it won't hold any weight, here's proof that it does.

We also visited San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the United States, built around 1610.

The interior is amazing.

The wooden altar screen, or reredos, is one of the oldest in New Mexico, done in 1798.

Underneath the altar, you can get a view down into the old construction. I liked the unique legs on the altar.

The Stations of the Cross were hand-carved out of pine by a Mexican artisan.

These three churches are only a couple of blocks from each other. I highly recommend them if you are in the area!


  1. There are some who think Frenchy who lived in what is now Oliver Lee State Park near Alamogordo NM built that stairway. They have a write up on it at the park visitor center.

  2. As an engineer I was really impressed by that staircase when we were there.

  3. Your pictures make me want to visit Santa Fe! Great photos!

  4. I also find it interesting to look at the Stations of the Cross at churches. I don’t recall visiting San Miguel but the photos look familiar.


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