Coconino National Forest: Chapel of the Holy Cross


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The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Catholic chapel built into the buttes of Sedona, Arizona.  It was inspired by the vision of Marguerite Brunswig Staude. She’d imagined a cross superimposed on the newly constructed Empire State Building in 1932 and set out to build the grand chapel of her dreams.


After a failed attempt to build the chapel in Budapest, Staude set her sights on her home town of Sedona.  She chose a site within Coconino National forest and had to obtain a special-use permit from the Secretary of the Interior to build there.


It took 18 months to build the chapel at a cost of $300,000. It was completed in 1956. The 11 acres on which Holy Cross sits is still owned by the US Forest service, but is managed by the local Roman Catholic Diocese.


It’s a simple, humble structure set in a majestic backdrop. It is too small to host regular services, so it serves as a non-denominational shrine for the thousands who visit it each year.


To see my other Sedona posts, click below:

Location: 780 Chapel Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336

Designation: National Historic Landmark

Date designated or established: October 6, 2011 (added to NRHP)

Date of my visit: August 23, 2014

View of Snoopy Rock from the restaurant we went to for lunch after visiting Chapel of the Holy Cross. Snoopy Rock is the formation on the right in this photo (imagine Snoopy’s silhouette laying on top of the dog house)

19 thoughts on “Coconino National Forest: Chapel of the Holy Cross

  1. Another hidden treasure and the reason I and your followers are glad that you expanded your blog to include other public landmarks besides National Parks. The chapel is marvelous and we will make a side trip the next time we are in Arizona.

    1. Thanks Don! I don’t know how hidden some of these treasures are anymore, with the advent of social media. I saw pictures of this place on Instagram back when I was planning this trip which led me to incorporate it into our itinerary. 🙂

    1. Thanks! From what I read, Marguerite Staude was incredibly persistent in making her vision a reality (and wealthy.) I seem to recall she went to DC to lobby her senator to get the permission from the Director of the Interior to use the National Forest land.

  2. Pingback: National Parks USA Coconino National Forest: Bell Rock Trail

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