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The oldest church in the continental United States lies in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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The oldest church in the continental United States is still functional today. 

Many sources consider San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico to be the oldest church in the country. 

Since its original creation, around 1610, the church has been home to many events, including religious services, ceremonies, celebrations and more. 

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Interested in a tour of the property?

San Miguel Chapel interior and exterior

San Miguel Chapel is widely considered as the oldest Catholic Church in the United States.  (Universal Images Group via Getty Images; PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Read on to learn more about this historic church.

  1. What is San Miguel Chapel famous for?
  2. What happened to San Miguel Chapel?
  3. Is San Miguel Chapel still open today?

1. What is San Miguel Chapel famous for? 

The San Miguel Chapel is famous for being known as the oldest church in the United States. 

The church is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

It was constructed “under the direction of Franciscan friars to serve a small congregation of soldiers, laborers, and Indians who lived in the Barrio de Analco,” per the church’s website. 

A photo of San Miguel Chapel dating back to 1845-1903

San Miguel Chapel has gone through immense reconstruction since it was originally built.  (Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The first historical written record of the church dates back to 1628.

Yet many believe that the construction of the church dates back even further, according to the San Miguel Chapel website, with oral history putting the church’s creation around 1610, in tandem with the founding of Santa Fe. 

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The chapel was dedicated to Archangel Michael. 

A statue of him stands at the site of the church today, according to U.S. News & World Report. 

2. What happened to San Miguel Chapel? 

San Miguel Chapel has undergone reconstruction over the years. 

Documentation retained by the church, according to its website, shows that the chapel was heavily damaged, including the roof being burned during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, also known as Popé’s Rebellion. 

Visitors can view the 780 pound San Jose Bell that used to be in the bell tower. 

In 1710, San Miguel Chapel was rebuilt. Further repairs funded by the mayor of Santa Fe were done in 1798, according to the church’s website. 

The community came together in 1887 for another rebuild when the church was in need of so many repairs, it was nearly demolished. 

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While the rebuilding of San Miguel Chapel has changed the structure from what it was when it was originally built, the church is still full of history. 

For example, parts of the original walls still remain intact. 

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Additionally, guests can view the 780 pound San Jose Bell that used to be in the bell tower. 

Sadly, the tower fell in a storm back in 1872 — but the bell is still on display inside the chapel.

3. Is San Miguel Chapel still open today? 

San Miguel Chapel is still open today. 

Exterior of San Miguel Chapel

San Miguel Chapel is full of history and unique architecture. The church is still open today.  (Buddy Mays/Getty Images)

In addition to the religious services that have been regularly held at the church for hundreds of years, it has also been used for a number of other events, such as concerts, celebrations and ceremonies.  

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Visitors can go on a tour of the property, or attend one of the many events being held at the church. 

An events calendar can be found online to see if there is anything you can attend during your visit. 

Source

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