Mysterious Staircase in Loretto Chapel
This glorious spiral staircase seems to hang without support - a work of sheer genius, if not a certifiable mystery. It has no nails, no pegs and no central post.
Its maker? That is the fun part.
The chapel's original architect died before revealing how the nuns were to climb to the choir loft of the lovely new chapel in a dignified manner. The ladies prayed fervently for nine days, after which a rough-looking man walked in and took the job.
Using only primitive tools, warm water, and wood foreign to the area, (that no one saw delivered), he asked to be left alone for three months. At the end of that time, the man disappeared completely, leaving the nuns to believe that Saint Joseph had materialized to help them.
Eager to solve the mystery, author Mary Jean Straw Cook, cited that a death notice in The New Mexican newspaper in 1895 proved the builder to be a French immigrant. However, after studying her findings, the dead man was deemed by many to be too young.
The impossibility of the design spurred speculation from the beginning, and the wood, though thought to be spruce, has not been adequately tested to ascertain its origin.
So, we have a genius of a builder with no name, who never stuck around to get paid, a complex design from 1872 that today's architects still study, and the mysterious appearance of the wood. The nuns believed it to be a miracle. What do you think?
I like the miracle story.
Read the arguments against the mystery
Read the arguments against the arguments
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