Chapel of the Holy Cross

Emerging from one of Sedona’s famous walls of red rock, this chapel is a spectacular sight to behold.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of the most magnificent sites in all of Sedona. This Roman Catholic chapel was built on a spur of rock that rises 200 feet (60 meters) off the ground. A breathtaking 90-foot (27-meter) cross cuts down the center of the chapel and looks like it has been wedged into the rock. Admire this incredible structure, which seems to be a natural extension of the distinctive red buttes that surround it.

Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a local rancher and artist, commissioned the chapel in 1932. Staude was inspired by the newly constructed Empire State Building and wanted to create a church in that style. It was completed in 1956 after just 18 months of construction.

In 1957, the American Institute of Architects bestowed the chapel with its Award of Honor. The chapel remains a place of fascination to this day. Marvel at the chapel’s dramatic exterior, which extends out of the red rock wall.

Enter the chapel and note the simple and intimate interior. The angular walls and natural light seeping in give the impression of a place where heaven meets earth. The impressive cross in the middle of the room is the centerpiece of the structure from the inside and out. Flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, it offers magnificent views of Sedona’s red rocks.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a 10-minute drive south from the center of Sedona. There is ample parking and clear paths from the parking lot to the entrance of the chapel, however, it is quite a steep walk. The gift shop downstairs has a wonderful selection of souvenirs, including rosaries and crosses made of stones found in the area. The chapel is free to enter and open daily except for Good Friday, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. A brief prayer service is held each Monday evening and is open to the public.