Feb 22, 2017

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This Santa Fe landmark is one that has many people impressed and staggering for answers to this unsolved mystery at the Loretta Chapel: the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction.

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.

Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and tools ( saw, carpenters squae, hammer and tubs in which to soak the wood )looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in to answer to the sisters' prayers.

The stairway's carpenter, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.

Loretto chapel
Mysterious Staircase @ Loretto Chapel
The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Many people flock to see this miraculous staircase as it has also been telecast on T.V. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and Movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase." along with TV specials and reading articles that have been made surrounding the mystery of this staircase. Above excerpt from the Loretto website.

Someone sent me this video. I do not know the origin and hence cannot credit it to anyone. If you know who this video belongs to please let me know so that due credit can be given.

This Chapel is now privately owned and is a museum for preservation. If your visiting: Please call ahead as the Chapel may close for private events. There is a small entrance fee. For more information please visit : Loretto Chapel.

Here is a picture of what it would have looked like before the banners were installed.

Simulation staircase pic
Staircase without banners

Altar @ Loretto Chapel
Altar @ Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe
Loretto Chapel

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