Years back, I received a postcard in the mail from my parents, with a picture of a staircase on it. I wasn’t quite sure why they would choose to send that particular postcard, until I discovered it was of the Loretto Chapel spiral staircase.
What’s so special about a staircase? Well, this particular staircase (nicknamed the Miraculous Stair) does not use any nails or center support.
With the double revolution of the staircase as it ascend to the choir loft, that alone would be enough of a mystery! But the story behind the staircase gets even more interesting.
After the untimely death of the architect, the chapel was left without a staircase. The sisters of St. Loretto prayed to St. Joseph (the carpenter saint), and found their response in an itinerant carpenter.
As with any miraculous story, there are several versions for proof and disproof. This article goes in depth to the creation of helix staircases, as well as the lasting story that the staircase is made from non-native wood.
Whether it is miraculous or not, you can’t argue that the staircase isn’t beautiful!
Now, how many times did I just say staircase??
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