Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Santa Fe - My Walking Tour

I had an exhausting day on Wednesday, but it was terrific. Went to breakfast at Tia Sophia's, then, at 10 a.m., starting walking, and didn't end up at the hotel until 3 p.m. My first stop was the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Yesterday, you saw the front of the Cathedral. Here is a picture of the altar piece.

The guide was very interesting, telling about L a Conquistadora, the country's oldest Madonna. The wooden statue originally came to Santa Fe in 1625, although the wood is dated to the fourteenth century, or earlier. The costume is changed every Friday. And, there is a crucifix in the Church with actual human hair. It came from Mexico with human hair, and the hair has to be changed once in a while.

In front of the Cathedral is a statue of Archbishop Lamy, who is buried in a crypt below the Cathedral, and whose name has been made famous in Willa Cather's Death Comes to the Archbishop. However, the art piece that impressed me was the figure of Kateri Tekakwitha, who lived from 1656-1680. The piece, created by Estelle Loretto, represents the woman who was the first Indian of North America to be promoted a Saint.
From the Cathedral, I walked to the Chapel of Loretto. Before you even enter the chapel, there is a tree out front with rosaries hanging from it.
That chapel has the "Miraculous Staircase," a staircase many faithful believe was built by St. Joseph, who appeared as a carpenter.  The staircase makes two 360 degree turns, has no central support, and has no nails.

And, here is the altar in the  Loretto Chapel

After leaving the Loretto Chapel, I headed down the road to San Miguel Church. But, on the way, I had to take this picture of a sign for Old Route 66.

And, there was an art piece outside a shop that I just couldn't resist photographing.

Somehow, I missed the oldest house in the U.S. Maybe I can pick that up tomorrow morning. But, I did get to San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in the U.S. The adobe church was built in the early 17th century by Tlaxcalan Indians of Mexico.

San Miguel Church

The bell on display in the chapel weighs around 800 pounds, and is believed to have been cast in Spain in 1356.

From the churches, I headed back to the streets near the plaza. Burro Alley was fun with the artwork.

I had lunch (really just a lemon souffle) in Sena Plaza at The Shed. I bought chocolate at Kakawa Chocolate House.  And, to my collection of four pieces of pottery from Spain, I added three pieces of black pottery made by R. Diane Martinez.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I stopped in at the Santa Fe Public Library. Seven years ago, I applied for a job there. As much as I'm enjoying Santa Fe, I'm glad I'm in Glendale.

And, before going to the Plaza where I bought my pottery, I noticed I was standing on a plaque commemorating a New Mexico governor, probably one of only two names that I would recognize. Lew Wallace was not only governor, he was the author of Ben Hur.

My walking tour ended at 3 p.m. when I was beat. I had dinner at The Blue Corn with four members of Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Deborah Ledford, Roni Olson, Chantelle Osman and Kris Neri. Dinner's always special when shared with friends.

But, I'll end the blog with a few pictures of Santa Fe buildings, and of course, the window of the day.


Mason Canyon said...

Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing - it's almost like being there. I especially love the staircase photo. Amazing. Have a great time.

Thoughts in Progress

bermudaonion said...

Wow, what a wonderful tour! My husband would have taken a shot of the Route 66 sign too - he dreams of driving it one day.

Kaye said...

Such fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing. I've read about that staircase but never saw a picture of it. I'm so glad you included it in your tour.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Mason. It always makes me feel good when people say it's like being there. That staircase is amazing.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kathy. Jim would have loved that sign, too. I had to laugh at my sister, though. When I said earlier I was my parents' daughter, I meant all the historical sites. She was expecting lots of pictures of cannons. My father must have taken a picture of almost every cannon we ever saw when touring Civil War battlefields.

Lesa said...


My family and co-workers wanted to see that staircase as well. I was really pleased with the pictures.

Susan C Shea said...

Hi Lesa, I'm here too. Enjoyed your walking tour after doing the Tent Rocks hike. You've inspired me to get going and post some photos from that on my blog site. Hope to meet you in person later today!

Jody said...

Thanks for sharing those great photos. It's Kateri, not Katera, though. I almost named one of my daughters after her.
Love the art piece with the children reading on a bench.

Lesa said...

I enjoyed walking Santa Fe, Susan, but didn't think I was going to be up for any of the hikes. And, certainly didn't dress for hiking. Hope I do get to meet you!

Lesa said...

Thanks,Jody. Went back and changed the spelling. Probably couldn't read my own handwriting in the notes.

Isn't that a great art piece? I saw more today on Canyon Road of readers, but that's my favorite.

Grace K. said...

Love your Santa Fe touring photos, esp. the Burro Alley ones, and the statues of the two children reading on the bench!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Grace! I hope you had as much fun exploring Santa Fe as I did. I didn't get to the Railroad area, so I know I missed one section, but I filled in my extra time with people, rather than more exploring. I really liked Santa Fe.