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What You Will See at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Santa Fe, New Mexico - St. Francis Cathedral Exterior

There are some truly wonderful attractions and historic sites around Santa Fe, New Mexico. You could spend an entire month going on a variety of tours and escapades to discover the rich heritage and culture of the area. Among the many museums, historic places, and unique destinations, there are some stunning cathedrals. One of these is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Here, you will discover a strong community of those devoted to the Catholic Church. You will also discover a gorgeous church that has a rich history of its own and a line of past religious lives. This is a wonderful place to see for yourself during your visit to Santa Fe and stay at Four Kachinas. We hope you will be awed by the breathtaking architecture and  rich history of this and other sites throughout Santa Fe.

Find out more about all of the many historic sites near Four Kachinas when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for places to explore that are rich in culture and beauty, such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

History of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Like many of the beautiful religious structures in Santa Fe, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was built many years ago and lived a few lifetimes before taking its current shape. The cathedral that you will see before your very eyes dates back to the late 1800s. At this point, it was constructed on the site of an old adobe church by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. It took a dramatic contrast to the previous adobe facades of Santa Fe, as Lamy drew inspiration from his French roots. The previous adobe church on site was known as La Parroquia and was constructed between 1714 and 1717. But that was not the origins of the religious nature of the site. In fact, before that, it was yet again another church. This oldest building on the site was created in 1626 but destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680.

Architecture of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi has some unique architectural details that set it apart from religious structures of its time. It was designed by Lamy in Romanesque Revival style, featuring round arches and Corinthian columns. Truncated towers also mark the facade, along with a large rose window in front. The lateral nave windows featuring the twelve apostles are highly detailed and ornate. They were, in fact, imported from France. Built of yellow limestone bricks, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi blends in with the sand and dirt of the surrounding landscape. A small dove window and more stunning stained glass are featured throughout the cathedral.

Importance and Cultural Significance

Originally just known as the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, this structure became appointed to basilica status in 2005. At this point in time, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the cathedral to this prominent title. It is also known as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Stay at Four Kachinas

There are so many wonderful historic and architectural features throughout Santa Fe. From the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis to the many local cultural museums, the area is rich in history. Discover even more wonderful attractions and beautiful structures during your vacation stay at Four Kachinas. We hope to be your home base during your many Santa Fe adventures. Our bed and breakfast offers close proximity to the cultural hub of Santa Fe, as well as some authentic Southwestern charm. View our rooms today, and book your stay in Santa Fe!

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