Sunday, March 13, 2011

Loretto Chapel

Santa Fe was founded in 1610, ten years before the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, stole some Indian seed corn, and then made there way to their ultimate destination, Plymouth, MA, where the founded their colony and began an ultimately contentious relationship with the the native people.
The Loretto Chapel's Gothic Architecture

Out here in New Mexico, it was Spaniards and Catholics colonizing, not Puritans. The Pueblo Indians, on who's land I live today, and which they own, forcibly expelled the Spanish from the Pueblo and Santa Fe region in 1680, for bad behavior.

Ultimately the Catholic Spaniards returned, and in 1873 built the Loretto Chapel. The Catholic church abandoned the place in barely 100 years later in 1968, and it was sold in 1971. Today it is a commercial enterprise, rented out for weddings, concerts, and the like. It has a gift shop, and a resort attached where the school used to be. That disappointing end aside, it is still a stunningly beautiful church.

We visited today, and I was struck by the smallness of the place. It seats maybe 80 people comfortably. There's an awful lot of detail and beauty in that small space. The alter is beautiful, as well the stained glass. Along the walls are a series of chronological "dioramas" depicting Christs condemnation to his crucifixion.

All the pictures are here.

1 comment:

  1. I visited Loretto Chapel back in 2001. Thanks for the memories.