At the terminus of the Old Santa Fe Trail, the Loretto Chapel stands, a place where legend and beauty meet. Home to a mysterious spiral staircase, the Loretto Chapel is available to tour almost daily, and is a popular backdrop for Santa Fe weddings.

Origins of Loretto Chapel
Modeled on the exquisite Paris church, Sainte-Chapelle, which is famous for its stain glass windows, the Loretto Chapel was built in 1878, and took 10 years to complete. It was built for the Sisters of Loretto, an order that worked to spread the Catholic faith in the new state of New Mexico. The Sisters of Loretto ran a school and are said to have contributed their own personal funds to building the Gothic structure.

The "Miraculous Staircase"
The story of this beautiful spiral staircase-one of the centerpieces of the Loretto Chapel-has become the stuff of legend. Mystery surrounds the carpenter who built the chapel staircase-some think it was St. Joseph answering a pray of the Sisters of Loretto. Another puzzle of the mysterious staircase is the fact that it stands without a visible central support and only with wooden pegs. The staircase has even inspired a movie, "The Staircase" starring Barbara Hershey.

Weddings at Loretto Chapel
With its elegant structure, mysterious staircase, and picturesque surroundings, the Loretto Chapel is a popular venue for weddings. Today, the Chapel is a private museum, and people from all faiths are welcome to share their vows there. It's also been designated the "best place to get married" by the Santa Fe Reporter.

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