St. Francis Cathedral History in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Built by French and Italian masons in the late 1800s on the site of two earlier churches, St. Francis Cathedral features both an old adobe chapel built in 1714 and the cathedral, completed in 1887. Its beautiful stained-glass windows depict the 12 apostles and were transported by ship and covered wagon to Santa Fe.
The Cathedral and its nearly 400-year old parish, which was elevated to a Basilica in 2005, is one of the longest established Catholic congregations in the U.S. and is considered the mother church of the Southwest dioceses. Its towers were originally planned to have 160-foot steeples, but due to lack of funds, they were
St. Francis Cathedral & Loretto Chapel -
One of the most revered and visited historic sites in Santa Fe, NM, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was named for the patron saint of Santa Fe, whom we also honor with the name of our hotel. The nearby Loretto Chapel is famous for its Miraculous Staircase, built with 360-degree turns and no visible means of support. St. Francis Cathedral is located just 2 blocks from Hotel St. Francis, a historic, renovated hotel with an award-winning restaurant and pet-friendly rooms furnished with authentic New Mexico handcrafts.
Loretto Chapel & The Miraculous Staircase -
The Loretto Chapel was built in 1878 with no means to access the choir loft 22-feet above the floor. Legend has it the Sisters of the Chapel prayed to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, and a man appeared and built the circular staircase without pay. He left and was never found again, but his staircase remains a masterful and intriguing legacy. Designed with two 360-degree turns and no visible means of support. The Sisters of Loretto Chapel considered it a miracle.
Visiting St. Francis Cathedral & Loretto Chapel -
The St. Francis Cathedral is open daily throughout the year to visitors and worshippers. Mass is held on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and on holy days. Admission is free. Loretto Chapel is open daily in winter until 5 p.m. and summer until 6 p.m. It is a popular site for evening weddings, offering full services illuminated by candles and accompanied by musicians.