I frequently stop by Catholic Churches when traveling, usually because they’re historically significant to the city I’m in. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, there are quite a few to see, but the one that stood out the most to me was the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
The cathedral is named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Santa Fe and was built in the mid to late 1800s by then Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (the first archbishop of Santa Fe). It was built on a site that was previously home to an adobe church. Before that, there was another church on the grounds that was destroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
One of my favorite things about the Catholic Churches I’ve visited while on the road is how beautiful they are, and this cathedral was no exception. It was designed in the Romanesque Revival style, and both the outside and inside are beautiful and intricate.
I devoted a lot of my time – probably close to an hour – inside the church just to appreciate all the interior details. I took a seat on one of the pews and admired the ceiling, the altar and the stained glass windows. Although there were several people inside and others who periodically came in and out, everyone was always pretty quiet, which helped keep the church a peaceful place.
Away from the main nave, there’s a section that’s closed off for private prayer. I went in for a little bit, but out of respect I didn’t take any photos. It’s quieter than the rest of the church since it’s an enclosed space, and it’s a nice place to just sit and pray or meditate.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is located in the downtown area and in the Santa Fe Historic District, and is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. One thing that’s kind of interesting is that most of the surrounding buildings in the area are adobe style ones, making the cathedral a unique structure.
Visiting the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is free of charge and is something worth taking time to see in the city of Santa Fe.
If you’re interested in more details about the history of the cathedral, click here.