Lamy's most glorious accomplishment, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, lies in the heart of historic Santa Fe. Arriving in 1850, Lamy found Santa Fe's existing adobe church too modest for the new seat of the Archdiocese. He envisioned a regal Romanesque Revival-style cathedral and summoned French architects and Italian stonemasons to build it, with Corinthian columns and stained glass windows imported from France. Construction began in 1869 but the funds ran out before the spires were completed. Dedicated in 1887, the cathedral was elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Located at 131 Cathedral Place
Completed in 1878, the Loretto Chapel was designed after the Gothic-Revival masterpiece Sainte-Chapelle, Lamy's favorite chapel in Paris. Ornate stained glass windows and religious art adorn this architectural gem, but it's the Miraculous Staircase that transfixes visitors. According to legend, a staircase was needed to access the choir loft. In response to the nun's prayers, a carpenter appeared, perhaps St. Joseph himself, the patron saint of carpenters, and built this spiral wooden wonder of two 360-degree turns with no visible means of support.
Located at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail.
San Miguel Chapel is considered by many people to be the oldest church in the country. Built between 1610 and 1628 in El Barrio de Analco National Register Historic District, this Spanish Colonial mission features five-foot thick adobe walls and heavy vigas. The interior displays New Mexico's oldest reredos, created in 1798. Significantly damaged and reconstructed over the centuries, the church is one of the country's most carefully preserved adobe buildings.
Located at 410 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santuario de Guadalupe Church is the country's oldest Catholic shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Completed by 1796, the adobe church's interior features a choir loft brought from the military chapel, La Castrense, which was built in 1760 on the south side of the Santa Fe Plaza and demolished in 1859. This historical church is also listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties.
Located at 100 S. Guadalupe St.
Cristo Rey Church was designed in the Pueblo Revival style by celebrated Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem, who was influenced by New Mexico's historic Spanish missions. Built between 1939 and 1940, the church is home to an impressive stone reredos, commissioned in 1760. Carved with angels, saints, and other devotional imagery the reredos resembles carvings found in churches in Mexico and southern Europe.
Located at the corner of Cristo Rey and Canyon Road