Friday, June 23, 2017

Missions/Churches in Santa Fe

Two weeks ago, I was in Italy seeing beautiful churches.  This week I got to see some old, lovely churches that are in the U.S.

Santa Fe is known for the churches.  The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the downtown area.  It was built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, built in 1626 and destroyed in a revolt in 1680.

The Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival Style.  It features round arches separated by columns and towers.  The large rose window was imported from France.  In the upper facade is a small, round window featuring a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit.  This is a stained glass replica of the translucent alabaster window designed in the 17th century by the Italian artist Bernini for St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

After sitting in the church and observing the beautiful architecture, I headed down several blocks, which is the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, to see the Loretto Chapel.

This is a former Roman Catholic church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel.  It is known for its unusual helix-shaped spiral staircase.  This church started as a school in 1853.  The legend is that the staircase was constructed by St. Joseph, the Carpenter, and was built between 1877 and 1881.  It has two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support.

Leaving the Loretto Chapel, I headed south a few blocks to see San Miguel Mission, the oldest church structure in the U.S.A.  It was built approximately between 1610 and 1626.  The original adobe walls are still intact.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is still offered at the chapel on Sundays.

There were many more churches in the area, but I wasn't able to visit them.  As you can see, there is a lot to see in the U.S.A.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Lorreto Chapel

San Miguel Mission



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