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Good For Kids
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a closer view of the chapel and distinctive cross formation in the wall
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Closest available address
780 Chapel Road Sedona, AZ 86336
Open Mon.-Sat. 9:00am-5:00pm & Sun. 10:00am-5:00pm
30 minutes or less
Best time to visit
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a modest sized church built in 1956 and located on a 250 foot sandstone rock formation overlooking Sedona. Views of the nearby area from the church grounds are great. It’s also a popular tourist attraction, especially on weekends. There is a small gift shop in the church's basement.
The chapel was conceived by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who came up with an idea for a church built around a cross while viewing the Empire State Building in New York. She contacted Frank Lloyd Wright about assisting with the construction of such a building. Initial plans were to construct it in Hungary, but the situation there just prior to World War II made that an untenable location. Instead, Sedona was chosen. The church took 18 months to build and cost $300,000. Richard Hein was the primary architect.
Reviews of the chapel on other websites were generally good, so a visit here was an easy choice while touring around the Red Rocks area. It was so packed on a holiday weekend that it was quicker to just park at the bottom of the hill and walk up the road rather than waiting in a long line of cars to get a parking spot. The church’s location on a rock outcrop is interesting, and the views of the nearby area are impressive, but the building itself is frankly unimpressive. Although a church built with a cross directly into the structure is unusual, it was not an especially attractive building with a stark minimalist style, and it lacked interior elements such as stained glass, a lofty ceiling or an ornate altar that might add some character or beauty. Also, with many people inside and outside milling around and taking pictures it was difficult if not impossible to appreciate the church in a spiritual sense. Even if it had not been so crowded, there was just little to admire here, aside from the view, and one get comparable views from other parts of Sedona. If you still opt to go, the chapel can be seen in a few minutes and is free, so a visit won't really cramp your style. It will hold little if any interest for kids.
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