It was in the year 1610 that the Spanish founded a town that is now known as Santa Fe, the capitol of the state of New Mexico. Santa Fe was originally called the Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi or, as it was named in Spanish, La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assisi. It was occupied by Indians, Mexicans, and Spanish and was under Spanish control until a war which placed this area under the rule of the New Republic of Mexico for 25 years.
Later, As a result of the US victory in the Mexican war, this southwest area was ceded to the United States in 1848. Following the war we find the city of Santa Fe having a multiplicity of cultures. Native American Indian, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo cultures provide a rich, varied and very colorful heritage.
At the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail stands the Loretto Chapel. Inside the Gothic structure is the staircase referred to as miraculous, inexplicable, marvelous and is sometimes called St. Joseph’s Staircase. The stairway confounds architects, engineers and master craftsmen. It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20’ tall and has no center support. It rests solely on its base and against the choir loft. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails.
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