Postcard from Colorado’s Chapel-on-the-Rock

St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, also called the Chapel-on-the-Rock, is located about 20 minutes from Estes Park, Colorado. | Dennis Lennox

This Roman Catholic chapel in the mountains of Colorado has arguably the most picturesque of settings.

The St. Catherine of Siena Chapel was built atop a rocky crag in the shadow of Mount Meeker, which at 13,916 feet is the second-highest summit in Rocky Mountain National Park. More commonly called the Chapel-on-the-Rock, it is part of Camp St. Malo, a Roman Catholic retreat in Boulder County.

The simple interior of the Chapel-on-the-Rock. | Dennis Lennox

The chapel’s founder, Monsignor Joseph Bosetti, was inspired by the words of Matthew 16:18 (“Upon this rock I will build my church”). That is the same passage of scripture cited by the Roman church as the biblical basis for its universal authority.

Architect Jacques Benedict, who graduated from the famed École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, designed the cruciform-shaped edifice in a rustic style influenced by Romanesque Revival architecture. It was built between 1934 and 1936 by a local contractor with the help of Italian American craftsmen at a cost of $15,000.

Most remarkably, the chapel has survived floods and fires, including the recent East Troublesome Fire that caused mass evacuations of the surrounding area.

If you go

Chapel-on-the-Rock is located off State Highway 7 in Allenspark, about 20 minutes from Estes Park. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Consider staying at the National Register of Historic Places-listed Stanley Hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1909.

Denver International Airport, the closest airport with commercial service, is 90 minutes away by car.

Spires and Crosses, a travel column exclusive to The Christian Post, is published every week. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter and Instagram.

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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