Santa Fe, New Mexico: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
About the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi:
Spanish colonists, accompanied by Franciscan Friars, arrived here in 1598. The city of Santa Fe was founded a few years later, in 1610. What was originally an adobe church was replaced in 1630, and then that one was destroyed during the Pueblo Indian Revolt in 1680. In 1714, the Franciscans were finally able to return and named the new church in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
The only part of that church still existing is the small adobe chapel dedicated to Our Lady La Conquistadora. Standing only 30 inches tall, the statue of Our Lady La Conquistadora was brought by Fray Alonzo Benavidez from Spain to the Royal Villa of Santa Fe in 1624, and is the oldest representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States.
Construction of the Cathedral was begun in 1869 It was built around the adobe church and then the old church was torn down in 1887 and the pieces taken out through the front door of the Cathedral.
The stained glass windows in the lower bay are from France and depict the twelve apostles. Seven archbishops are buried in the sanctuary.
The Cathedral’s spires were never completed due to lack of funds. In 1967, the Cathedral was strengthened, new sacristies were added, and a Blessed Sacrament Chapel was built. In 1987, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the stone church, a monumental altar screen depicting famous saints of North and South America was installed.
There are also beautifully carved stations of the Cross outside.
The Cathedral was elevated to a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Traveling to the Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe:
Address: 131 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, NM 87501
GPS coordinates: 35° 41′ 10.9104” N, 105° 56′ 10.8636” W
Tel: +1 (505) 982-5619
email: use contact form on their website
Click here for the official website of the Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe
Photo of Station of the Cross courtesy Teresa Bergen