Best Churches in Santa Fe New Mexico

The exterior of one of the churches in Santa Fe

Northern New Mexico has centuries of history to be shared with all who visit this area – and though there are plenty of historic attractions to admire while in town, we think the churches in Santa Fe warrant a closer look, especially this spring as we lead up to the famed Pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayó in April. Santa Fe is only about 35 minutes from our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico, too, which means visiting these historic churches in Santa Fe is an easy thing to accomplish on a day trip.

Most visitors to Santa Fe start their journey at the historic heart of town in the historic Santa Fe plaza. Luckily, from there, most of the top churches in Santa Fe you’ll want to visit are within easy walking distance. Of course, there are several other historic churches in northern New Mexico worth visiting, including one just down the street from our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico, the famed Santuario de Chimayó.

We’d love nothing more than to share our sacred space with you in 2023 and introduce you to some facets of our history and culture that you might otherwise miss. From traditional cathedrals to environmentally conscious monasteries, you’ll find many stunning churches in Santa Fe to admire. As always, at the end of the day, we offer you a welcoming and comfortable place to rest your head. Book your room at our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico today! 

Inside the Loretto Chapel, one of the most famous churches in Santa Fe

The 4 Best Historic Churches in Santa Fe

As you arrive in Santa Fe, odds are one of the first things you’ll see is one of the many historic churches that dot the skyline. Thanks to its long and diverse history, there are a number of historic churches in Santa Fe, yet another indicator of the many cultural influences that have shaped this city into what it is today.

One of the churches in Santa Fe, the Old San Miguel Mission, also happens to be the oldest standing church in the country, and it dates back to at least 1628, though many believe it was built as early as 1610. This is one of the most beautiful churches in Santa FE, too, and it was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians. You’ll find it in the Barrio de Analco Historic District of Santa Fe, which is less than 10 minutes by walking from the Santa Fe Plaza.

The Old San Miguel Mission is just the beginning, though. Here are some of the other magnificent churches in Santa Fe that you should seek out during your next trip to our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico.

  1. Perhaps the most famous of the churches in Santa Fe is the Loretto Chapel, home to the famous miraculous staircase. It’s located just steps off the Santa Fe Plaza and is a stunning example of a gothic-style cathedral. You can admire it from the outside, but the real star of the show is inside and is more than worth the time and effort.
  2. Perhaps one of the most recognizable churches in Santa Fe is The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The predominant feature of this building is the twin towers at the front towering high above downtown Santa Fe. It, too, is just steps away from the Santa Fe Plaza. Inside, you’ll find intricate New Mexican decor on the ceilings, arches, and pillars that are worth viewing.
  3. Finally, the last of the historic churches in Santa Fe worth visiting include the Santuario de Guadalupe, built in 1770. This church is the location of the oldest Shrine in the United States dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. It’s located near the Santa Fe Plaza and serves as a history and art museum that houses a wonderful collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, Mexican baroque paintings, and Santos, in addition to a large full-body image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Other Churches to See in Northern New Mexico

  1. San Juan Catholic Church is found just north of Santa Fe in Ohkay Owingeh. This Church has the distinction of being the first and oldest Parish in the United States.
  2. San Geronimo Chapel is located just north of us in the Taos Valley. While much of the San Geronimo Chapel was destroyed over the years, remnants of its historic kivas, bell tower, and outline of the nave are still standing today, representing an essential piece of New Mexican history and culture.
  3. If you plan to head to Abiquiu in northern New Mexico, don’t miss The Monastery of Christ in the Desert. This monastery was built in 1964 and perfectly complements and reflects the surrounding landscapes.
Aside from the churches in Santa Fe, the Santuario de Chimayó is one of the most famous churches in northern New Mexico

Don’t Miss the Santuario de Chimayo in 2023

As gorgeous as these other historic churches in Santa Fe are, there’s another northern New Mexico gem that you simply must view while you’re in the area. Luckily, it’s just a few minutes from our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico. The Santuario de Chimayó is a true cultural gem and is considered one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the country. The annual pilgrimage to the Santuario happens every spring over Holy Week.

On an annual basis, more than 300,000 people visit the Santuario de Chimayó, with an estimated 30,000 of them making the pilgrimage during Holy Week. It’s truly an impressive sight to behold, and one you can have a front-row seat for if you stay with us at our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico.

The Santuario de Chimayó dates back to 1810 and stands today as a National Historic Landmark. You can tour the church and its grounds year-round and don’t need to wait for the annual pilgrimage. Though, if you are seeking healing or other blessings from the church, it’s hard to argue with Holy Week as a great time to visit. Many visitors to the Santuario de Chimayó take a small amount of the “Tierra Bendita” or “holy dirt,” which is held in a small well inside the church in a room called el pocito. This holy dirt comes from the surrounding hillsides and is believed to cure various ailments.

Though the Santuario de Chimayó is best known for this pilgrimage, it’s also an important cultural center hosting a variety of events throughout the year. There’s also a free museum onsite featuring several important works of art. It’s dedicated to the history not just of this church, but of the Roman Catholic Church in northern New Mexico.

If you have plans to visit the Santuario de Chimayó or any of these other iconic churches in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico, we hope you choose the top-rated Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico, Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast in Chimayó. Book your room today!

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