Travel: Loretto Chapel (Santa Fe, NM)

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While touring Santa Fe, New Mexico, we stopped to tour the Loretto Chapel, which is home to the Miraculous Staircase built by "St. Joseph, the Carpenter."


At the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail stands the Loretto Chapel. Inside the Gothic structure is the staircase referred to as miraculous, inexplicable, marvelous and is sometimes called St. Joseph's Staircase. The stairway confounds architects, engineers and master craftsmen.

It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20 feet tall and has no center support. It rests solely on its base and against the choir loft. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails.

By Jillian

November 23, 20100 found this helpful

I heard about this staircase on T.V. years ago but I can't remember what channel or show. Thank you for such a beautiful picture, it really shows all the details so clearly.

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November 23, 20100 found this helpful

My husband and I visited Loretto Chapel a couple of years ago. We live in Texas and it was a wonderful drive to New Mexico but especially just to visit the Loretto Chapel. It is a wonderous and miraculous place to visit. Well worth the journey.

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November 28, 20100 found this helpful

We saw this many years ago and it is truly amazing!

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