The Red Rock Scenic Byway has more than stunning natural landscapes. It also has a building that the travel section of the lifestyle website Thrillist has recently listed as one “of the coolest buildings in America that’ll stop you dead in your tracks — or better yet, that you should go out of your way to see.”
The website listed only 31 buildings in their “coolest buildings in the nation” list. In writing about the Chapel of the Holy Cross they explained why it is a must see – “You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the grandeur of this church rising out of the red rocks of Arizona like a stone periscope. The Catholic house of worship was inspired by the Empire State Building and rests on national forest land, giving it something of an ancient appearance even though it’s less than a century old.”
The Chapel is located along the home of the Red Rock Scenic Byway, AZ State Route 179, and just north of the northern end of the Byway.
The Chapel was inspired and commissioned by local Sedona area rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude. Completed in 1956, the American Institute of Architects gave the Chapel its Award of Honor in 1957. In the sculptor’s words, “Though Catholic in faith, as a work of art the Chapel has a universal appeal. Its doors will ever be open to one and all, regardless of creed, that God may come to life in the souls of all men (and women) and be a living reality.”
In 2007, Arizonans voted the Chapel to be one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona, and it is also felt to be the site of one of the Sedona vortices. The Chapel is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
It is the range and nature of experiences present on the Red Rock Scenic Byway that has earned it the designation as an All American Road. Be sure to enjoy it if you are ever in Northern Arizona.
Admission the Chapel is at no charge. The Chapel’s address is 780 Chapel Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336. For additional information please visit the website www.chapeloftheholycross.com