The Miraculous Staircase in Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

When our friends heard we’re going to Santa Fe, they suggested us to stop at Loretto Chapel. They said it’s a beautiful church with the miraculous staircase, where their son got married. After I googled it, I knew I have to put Loretto Chapel in our itinerary.

What is Loretto Chapel?


From its name, we know that it’s a church. But what was a Roman Catholic church, now it is used as a museum and a wedding chapel.

Loretto Chapel is known for its unusual spiral staircase that has two 360 degrees turns and no visible means of support. It is also said that the staircase was built without nails, only wooden pegs.

The History of the Miraculous Staircase in Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel was built in 1878 without access to the choir loft twenty-two feet above. The Sisters of the Chapel asked carpenters around for solutions but all said it needed a ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior of this small Chapel. Then they 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 a toolbox looking for work. He started the work and completed the staircase to the choir loft. But the carpenter disappeared without pay and thanks once his work had done. The Sisters searched for the man with no trace, and some believed that he was St. Joseph the carpenter himself, having come in answer to the sisters’ prayers.

Santa Fe & Albuquerque - Loretto Chapel


The Beautiful Loretto Chapel

Like most churches built in the 1800s, Loretto Chapel has a Gothic architecture style. When I walked into the chapel, I felt like I walked into one of the buildings in Gotham City. But peaceful was what I felt once inside the chapel.

The miraculous staircase stood magnificently at the back of the chapel. People lit candles and said their prayers. The stained glasses added a touch of beauty to this chapel. No wonder it’s one of the favorite places for a wedding. Even it doesn’t function as a church anymore, everybody kept their voices low to respect others who came for a quiet time.


Tips: – Chapel may close without notice for special events; call ahead to be sure it’s open. – Visit when they just open to beat the crowd. – You can only see the staircase; you can’t climb it to the choir loft.


Hours of operation: Mon-Sat 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Sun 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.


Address: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 982-0092.


Wedding Information: Call (505) 982-0092. Email


Visited: June 2014.



Don't forget to share
CommentLuv badge


  1. What a beautiful and intriguing story! I love learning little details like that. That spiral staircase is stunningly beautiful!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, an impressive staircase in a beautiful chapel! I’m glad our friend told us about the chapel.

  2. The staircase is so beautiful! The spirals seemed perfect. But the story behind it is even more interesting. Miracles do happen everyday. 😀

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I agree. Miracles do happen everyday.

  3. Anna says:

    I agree! I would also add this to my itinerary. Religious monuments are usually on top of my list when I’m thinking of things to see.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Great! Hope you will make it there one day.

  4. Sapna says:

    Beautiful spiral staircase. Such a lovely story associated with it.
    Sapna recently posted…Palate Fest Delhi 2017My Profile

  5. Anu says:

    What a beautiful staircase. One must admire the craftsmanship of carpenters who made it. No nails & no support – amazing.

  6. Kiyoko says:

    Always love to hear the stories behind the various places I visit. I think this staircase looks really cool, but after knowing the story behind it, I think it’s absolutely fascinating! If I’m ever in the area, I’ll definitely have to swing by here!
    Kiyoko recently posted…Celebrate Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Around the WorldMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, do stop there when you are in the area.

  7. MIchelle says:

    Such a beautiful staircase and a fun story to go along with it. We love to visit historic churches during our travels.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Well, don’t forget to visit Loretto Chapel when you go to Santa Fe, NM.

  8. Hanna says:

    I’ve never heard of this before, but thank you for sharing! The Staircase and Chapel look amazing. I’m sure the wedding photos were amazing too. The history of the place is also interesting that it’s from the 1800s.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, the wedding photos were amazing.

  9. Megan says:

    What an incredible story! I love learning about the unique history of beautiful places like this. Thanks so much for sharing your visit to this incredible chapel!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You are welcome!

  10. Dani says:

    How amazing! That staircase is beautiful. Another thing I didnt know about to add to my never ending list 🙂

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yeah, there are so many things or places that we haven’t heard before that make our list never ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *