Friday, April 13, 2012

Loretto Chapel

Now for more tales from the Winter Break trip to New Mexico. One day we went to Sante Fe to sight see around the city and the first place we visited in Sante Fe was the beautiful gothic Loretto Chapel.

The Chapel is most famous for the Miraculous Staircase that spirals up to the choir loft. The reason it's called "miraculous" is because there are three mysteries that surround the staircase.

Who made the staircase?
The church was originally made sans staircase. Nuns had to climb a steep and dangerous ladder in order to get up to the loft. So they prayed and sure enough a drifter came through town and built them a staircase and vanished before they could pay or thank him.

How does the structure stand on it's own?
By all laws of physics, the staircase should not be able to stand without a beam in between. It simply spirals and what's even crazier is that nuns have been going up and down the staircase since its construction in 1898. They've had architects and engineers look at it and they are still baffled.

What type of wood is the staircase made of?
Well this is just weird, but the wood the staircase is made of is mysterious. They took a piece and sent it off to a Naval Researcher in San Diego who specializes in wood (I would never specialize in wood) and he concluded that the exact type of wood is unknown.

So with those three mysterious surrounding the staircase, the nuns concluded it must have been St. Joseph. Whether you believe in it all is up to you. But it's an interesting phenomenon and a beautiful chapel all the same.

 Aside from the mystery there was also a tree in the front with hundreds of Rosary beads strewn around the branches, dangling.


P.S. There will be a video to come from this day.

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