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Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe

4.2
#3 of 58 in Historic Sites in New Mexico
Religious Site Historic Site
Loretto Chapel, a former Roman Catholic church, is known for its unusual spiral staircase. Called the Miraculous Staircase, it makes two 360-degree turns and is 6 m (20 ft) tall--but has no visible means of support. It's not only an engineering mystery; no one knows for certain who built it. The Sisters of Loretto credit St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, with its construction. After examining the staircase, give yourself enough time to appreciate the Gothic Revival architecture of this late 19th-century building. It features imposing spires, buttresses, and stained-glass windows imported from France. Add Loretto Chapel and other attractions to your Santa Fe trip itinerary using our Santa Fe trip generator.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
3,760 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The architecture of this gothic church is beautiful. I believe entrance was around 3 dollars. You can pay with cash or a card. There's an audio recording that tells you about the story of the miraculo...  more »
  • The staircase really is amazing, It's inexpensive to go inside and worth the visit. It's an easy walk from the Plaza.  more »
  • The spiral stairs that go up to the choir loft are an amazing story in itself. It's worth seeing and hearing this amazing story!  more »
Google
  • This chapel is truly breath taking! I recommend getting there very early in the AM to avoid crowds if you want to get some killer shots of the staircase. Regardless of crowds, the chapel is so intricate and unique it's worth the $3 admission.
  • I'm a builder and master carpenter. I've installed spiral staircases, but never built a free-standing one like you see here. If you have any appreciation for incredible craftsmanship, then you must visit this private chapel. The price of admission is well worth it to see a staircase built with hand tools, no electricity and no modern power tools. I guarantee you'll walk out of this chapel in awe of the talent that carpenter possessed.
  • Surreal chapel when you hear the story and sit back to appreciate the view of the stairs. One of my favorite chapels I've visited. It's close to the center of town and other nearby beautiful churches.
  • Presently, I cannot say anything, as I have yet to experience the chapel, however, my son, who is a professional carpenter was very moved by the staircase when he visited. I will be visiting in March so I will give an update to this post. First, to the minister's response on one of these posts, you should not be so hasty with curses, especially if YAHWEH has not filled your mouth to speak it (law of reciprocity is still in motion). If one read the the Scripture accurately, one can see that many times HIS Angelic hosts were employed to do different feats in order to minister to HIS people or prophets. When HIS people pray, HIS PRESENCE can minister to many; far be it that we presume that the "I AM" is not capable of ministering in ways beyond our feeble interpretation of HIS NATURE, ESSENCE, and OMNISCIENCE. I believe that whether HE sends HIS messengers, angelic or human, all should be respected, and give thanks to YAHWEH for hearing the heart of HIS people. We should all be thankful that HE is not prejudice against HIS creation. May HE be glorified as the ONE WHO hears from Heaven and does not neglect HIS own. AMEN
  • Beautiful chapel. The staircase is easily explained, just search online. Just like the myths perpetuated by the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, this chapel is privately owned and perpetuates the myth of the mysterious staircase to turn a buck. They also force you to exit through a giftshop. I dislike the myth and tourist trappings, but I love the architecture and the imported Italian statues, etc. It's $3 a person to view the chapel. $1 a person to light a candle.

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Where to stay in Santa Fe

Though the downtown area contains most of Santa Fe's finest hotels, you can find plenty of equally comfortable inns and motels just outside this busy central district. Remember also that most of the city's centrally located hotels raise their prices during the height of the tourist season, so it is essential to look for deals and make reservations well in advance. To experience the true spirit of outdoor New Mexico while on holiday, consider sleeping under the stars at a campground just a short drive from Santa Fe's major urban attractions.
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