Silicon Valley – California 

 

 

 

 

 

As we venture out into our world, your travel can consist of a day visit to the closest towns or a journey that will place your feet clear on the other side of the world.  It is all about discovery and about everywhere you walk.  So, COME – EXPLORE WITH ME.

 

 

 

“Miraculous” stairs, Loretto Chapel (1878), Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

 

 

The Year Was 1610

Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

 

 

The sunrise is spectacular, the sunset more so.  Santa Fe set in the desert has a wonderful history and a haunting story.

 

It was in the year 1610 that the Spanish founded a town known as Santa Fe.  It was occupied by Indians, Mexicans and Spanish.  Later, ceded to the United States, Santa Fe had a multiplicity of cultures.  Native American Indian, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo cultures provide a rich, varied and very colorful heritage.

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 and marvelous, and it 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 ft. 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.

The history of the Loretto Chapel began in 1850.  Bishop Lamy, seeking to spread the faith and bring an educational system to this new territory, began a letter-writing plea.  The first acceptance was from the Sisters of Loretto.

The Sisters arrived in Santa Fe in 1852 and opened the Academy (Loretto) in 1853.  The school began and grew from very small to around 300 students, despite challenges (smallpox, tuberculosis, leaky mud roofs and even a brush with the rowdy Confederate Texansduring the Civil War).

Through tuitions, donations, and the Sisters’ own inheritances, they built their school and chapel.

Architect Projectus Mouly and his son came from Paris, France to Santa Fe to be architects/builders for St. Francis Cathedral.  It required 10 years to build.  It was decided that the school needed a chapel.  

The ornate stained glass, purchased from the DuBois Studio in Paris, was sent from Paris to New Orleans by sailing ship and then by paddleboat to St. Louis, Missouri, and then taken by covered wagon over the Old Santa Fe Trail to the Chapel.

The Chapel was completed in 1878.  It became a striking contrast to the adobe churches already in the area.

Besides the Chapel, the food is fabulous, the people friendly, and the scenery spectacular.

 





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