The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and Saint John Vianney Parish welcomes visitors to this amazing place of meditation - Chapel of the Holy Cross.
We always love bringing friends to this wonderful place because the views are just spectacular and our pictures always turn out to be very nice...great great views of the red rocks!
Built on a twin pinnacled spur about 250 feet high along Hihgway 179, jutting out of a thousand foot red rock wall, "solid as the Rock of Peter" the building of the Chapel was completed in April 1956. the Artist Marguerite Brunswig was said to have been inspired by the Empire State Building and she developed plans with the son of famous Frank Lloyd Wright, Lloyd Wright.
The message of the Chapel "That the Church may come to life in the souls of men and be a living reality is renewed and observed each day. Even as we speak it invites all to come to spend time to get connected with their creator. ..
You can actually even spot some mountain climbers hanging on to their lives at the side of the rocks! When you park at the bottom of the Chapel, you just walk up a curved pavement and then voila, the Chapel where you can sit and meditate. they also have a souvenir and religious gift shop at the lower level which has some of the best rosaries you can find.
Marguerite Bruswig Staude wanted to build a chapel for all faith could worship at and feel at peace without worrying if it was appropriate if it was not the exact faith they believe in. She just wanted to build a house of God and a place one with peace with nature. It was completed April 1956 about 250 high among the red rocks. The message of the Chapel: “That the church may come to life in the souls of men and be living reality” is renewed and observed each day. The Diocese of Phoenix and St John Vianney parish are the caretakers of the Chapel since 1969.
When the trolley brought us here, it was not crowed one bit. I think we got here at a good time in the later of the afternoon. In fact, it was the last tour of the day. We were amazed how lovely it looked perched between enormous rocks and it was if it was carved right from a rock. Construction must have been really hard to accomplish this back in the 1950’s, but we all know, if there is a will, there is a way. Inside is dimly lighted to keep reverence and I don’t know about anyone else, but I do feel very at peace within a chapel. Something about them gives you comfort because you know someone cares.
A short drive from town will take you to the parking lot for the Chapel of the Holy Cross where you can get fantastic views of the sandstone wall behind the chapel and other inspiring red rock formations in the distance. It is a beautiful setting except for the large cement structure -- the chapel -- blocking the best part of the view.
In the 1930's Marguerite Brunwsig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's and Sedona resident, conceived of a design for a 500' tall, block wide cathedral she hoped to locate in Budapest. The second world war dashed these plans and it's really too bad. It would probably have fit in quite well with the Soviet architecture that followed WWII and it would have prevented the construction of the smaller scale chapel at this location.
How anyone could think that desecrating the landscape here by glueing a cement box to the infinitely more beautiful red rock formations could somehow be a "monument to God" is completely beyond me. If God had wanted a large, right angled block in this location he would have put one there.
According to the local archdiocese:
Visitors who expect to find the Chapel as just another charming site are often surprised to find themselves deeply moved by the powerful spirituality emanating from this simple building and its location among Sedona's red rocks.
This statement would be so much truer if only they had left out 'simple building and its'. But what's done is done and Christians are lucky enough to have a religion that focuses heavily on forgiveness. You should still come here for the easy access to a little elevation and the glorious views this gives you.
There are some very lovely things to see and appreciate while you visiting this lovely Chapel. There many little gardens here and there, so be sure to look around to see them. Make sure to not let you children climb all over them too.
Even though this has a tourist trap feeling to it, this chapel is a must see, especially to admire how it was built into the red rock.
It will be very busy with tourists when you arrive, but there are parking lot attendants on site who organize visitors in a very efficient manner, and will even help direct you as you back out, as the series of small parking lots up a very steep incline are quite awkward to manoeuvre in. After a steep walk up, you reach the chapel. You are welcome to go inside, and the interior is designed most simply, with benches to sit on instead of church pews.
Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed this church after being inspired in 1932 by viewing a cross as she gazed on the Empire State Building. The church was not built until 1957. Over 25,000 tons of rock were removed to build the structure. There is a prayer service every Monday at 5:00 pm, otherwise there are no other services.
The Holy Cross Chapel is located at the top of a red rock overlooking Sedona town. It is such a beautiful location for a chapel! The chapel is very small perched at the most beautiful part of Sedona...
The view on top of the rock is spectacular so make sure to go over there. There are people praying inside the chapel so make sure to be courteous and not make loud noises...
There is also a small souvenir shop on the second floor of the chapel.
There is parking at the top of the hill which is definitely reserved for people with disability.
Make sure to drive slowly all the way to the top if you can't find parking below.
This Roman Catholic chapel is one of the main tourist attractions in Sedona. It is built right between 2 red rocks on a so-called Vortex spot. The location is unique
And though we knew that the chapel is unpretetious and sparsely decorated, we wanted to see it while it is designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The out of time look of this chapel is typical for the FLW school.
For those who like Roman Catholic gadgets: don't miss the gift shop under the chapel.
You need to park the car about 700 feet below the chapel, and then it's a steep walk uphill, but there are golf carts riding up and down to pick up and drop off those who prefer not to walk.
We followed the directions up the hill (Chapel Road) until we came to a roadside parking area from where we began the remaining steep climb to the top on foot.
It was a hard pull on a hot day with the sun high in the sky! So it was a relief to reach - of all things - a bus/buggy stop from where a free shuttle will take you up the last steepest bit of the climb.
The Chapel was designed by a woman, artist and sculptor, Margurite Brunswig Staude, and the building was completed in 1956.
It stands between two peaks of red sandstone, visible but not overly obtruding on the natural skyline. Its total height is 250ft and the cross is 90ft.
The simple interior has, through the large window behind the altar views across the valley to the mountains beyond.
It was exceptionally crowded when we arrived - with an even bigger crowd outside to the right of the entrance - looking down on an ostentatious, inappropriately located, multi-million-dollar mansion.
We waited outside until a large group left all together so we were able to step inside for a few moments.
It was nice to feel the peace that pervaded the chapel for that very short time.
We were told by an elderly man outside that he attends a regular service held there.
According to the leaflet a Taize Prayer Service is help at 5pm every Monday.
The Chapel is open every day and comes under the Diocese of Phoenix and the Catholic Church of St. John Vianney in Sedona.
There is a small gift shop but it was too crowded to enter when we were there.
The most beautiful setting for a chapel.
It really is a wonder. The chapel, as you can see, is set amongst the red rocks of Sedona. But the true beauty lies in the simplicity of the building and panoramic views from inside the chapel and from the grounds around the chapel.
Whatever beliefs the visitor may have, they are intensified in this mystic place.
The concept of the chapel came to Marguerite Bruswig Staude a New Yorker, in 1932.
While traveling through Sedona, she was struck by the beauty of the area and decided that this chapel should be built here. “This would be a monument to faith, but a spiritual fortress so charged with God, that it spurs man's spirit godward".
Built on a twin pinnacled spur about 250 feet high, jutting out of a thousand foot red rock wall, "solid as the Rock of Peter" the building of the Chapel was completed in April 1956. The Diocese of Phoenix and St John Vianney parish has maintained and administered the Chapel since 1969.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross was designed and built in 1956 by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built directly into a butte and offers the most dramatic view of the valley 200 ft. below. Inside, the chapel is dim. What little light there is comes from candles in red votives and the fading sunlight streaming in through the all-glass wall behind the altar. To the left are stairs that lead down to a gift shop.
But what most people really come here for is the 360° view from the plaza in front of the chapel. The sweeping vista is simply stunning! Also, if you look closely at the natural rock formations on the hillside nearby, you will see two similary shaped rock pillars dubbed "the Two Nuns". To the left of that is the unmistakable image of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus, the Madonna & Child. This is the image you will find in countless Sedona-inspired prints and paintings.
There are some nice views from the Chapel. You can drive all the way up the hill and park next to it, so don't be fooled by the parking lot at the bottom of the hill. I read somewhere that the entry gate closes at 5 pm.
Built by a Catholic woman to honor her parents, there are no services held in the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Anyone of any faith may come and take in the site, which is wonderfully peaceful in my opinion. Today, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix maintains the site, but the no services thing is still in effect.
When you go, look for:
1) What looks like an "Rx" in the rock beneath the chapel. When the woman who had the chapel built was selecting her site, she apparently saw this ancient symbol and took it as a sign that she had found the right place. Now the story I heard was that the "Rx" is really an unfinished "Bx", a brand from some local 100+ year old drunken cowboys. (Please don't let this undermine my comment that that I srongly suggest a visit to this breathtaking place.)
2) The eagle that guards the Chapel - a natural formation! Check my travelouge for pictures.
3) The madonna and child rock - another natural formation - pictures also in the travelogue.
The Church of the Rock is the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona. Built on two pinnacled spur rocks approximately 250 feet high. It juts our of a thousand foot red rock wall representing the solid Rock of Peter in the Bible. The concept of building the chapel was Marguerite Bruswig's. The New York native with three names – Margueritte Bruswig Staude came up with the idea in 1934, the chapel was completed in 1956. Staude conceived the idea while traveling through Sedona, where she was taken by the beauty of the land. It was to be a monument to faith. A spiritual fortress guarded only by God, and aimed at bringing back lost souls to God.
The chapel is a testimony of great architectural achievement. It is a great place of meditation, a pilgrim place for many Catholics. It is but a small chapel, a great reminder to many to renew their faith. It has a small gift shop below.
I highly recommend a stop here if you visit Sedona. I had a great time with the travbuddies I traveled with. I was able to light a candle for my Dad and brother, both deceased.
Just one of many churches in Sedona, but this has the highest elevation, offering scenic breathtaking views of Sedona. That's why there are more visitors here than elsewhere in other churches. Most are just tourists, not worshippers.
Built in 1956, this chapel sits atop a 250ft high spur of rock! The glass wall behind the altar offers magnificent views of the surrounding red rock scenery.
Note opening hours in next photo! Best time to arrive is 4:50pm. Just before it closes. Once 5:00pm comes, the automatic gate will not allow entry, only exit. Then, you can view the sunset. Very picturesque!