One of our favorite places to visit when in the Santa Fe area is the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. Rich introduced the Cathedral to me years ago when visiting the Santa Fe area and it has become a part of our routine when in the area.

Front of the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

There is a labyrinth on the left side as you look toward the front of the Cathedral. Walking the labyrinth is something I enjoy doing when I visit the Cathedral as it helps me to be in a meditative, contemplative and peaceful state. I hope you will walk the labyrinth too when you visit the Cathedral.

Labyrinth at the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

A Little About the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Nestled in the downtown Santa Fe area is St Francis Cathedral, completed in 1887, is known as one of Santa Fe’s most iconic landmarks.  The Cathedral was built in a Romanesque Revival style, reminiscent of the cathedrals in France; and the stain glass windows of the apostles were made in France. It would on only seem natural that the Cathedral was made in a French architectural style since Father John Lamy, who had the Cathedral built, came from France.

There is a rich history even before the Cathedral was built. It appears an original adobe church was built the year Santa Fe was founded in 1610, which was replaced in 1630, then destroyed by the Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1680. A new church was built in 1714 to replace the one that was destroyed during the Revolt. It was at that time the church was named in honor of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Santa Fe. To the left of the main altar is a statue in an area dedicated to Our Lady La Conquistadora. This statue of Our Lady La Conquistadora was brought from Spain in 1625 and is the only artifact from the adobe church that survived. It is the oldest representation of the Virgin Mary in the United States. If you would like to learn more, you can visit their website here.

Main Altar at the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi
Statue of Our Lady La Conquistadora at Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Visitor Information

The Basilica is open for visitation Tuesday through Saturday from 9.30 to 3 pm and has a gift shop and books available for purchase. It is an active parish and offers mass Monday through Friday at 7 am. It is always a good idea to check their website as hours could change.

Good to Know

There are restrooms located in the building across the street, La Fonda on the Plaza, located on the left side of the street. You can enter from the parking garage area.  

In Conclusion

The Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi is located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe and close to the Loretta Chapel, as well as the Palace of the Governors and other places of interest. The San Miguel Chapel is within walking distance to the Basilica, although a few blocks. For those of us who love to explore, love history, or just enjoy a feeling of solitude and sacredness, the Cathedral is a must visit. We hope you add it to your agenda when in the Santa Fe area.

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