Sedona Arizona is one of the most beautiful spiritual sites in the southwest. All year long, travelers sojourn here to recharge and renew their souls in Sedona’s vortexes and majestic red rock surroundings. For those who wish to reflect in a more traditional way, a visit to The Chapel of the Holy Cross is essential. Among the red rock formations of scenic Sedona, artist and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Straude created a place of worship that is truly a work of art.
Originally, Marguerite had dreamed of a magnificent modern cathedral that would rival any skyscraper built by man. But her ultimate creation, The Chapel of the Holy Cross, was fused into the landscape of Sedona appearing to thrust from the red rocks, which were built not by man, but nature herself. Her original concept sprung from a vision she had in 1932 during the construction of the Empire State Building. Marguerite, a former student of Frank Lloyd Wright created a model of a contemporary church that would be constructed of concrete and glass soaring up to 500 feet. Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, was called in to see her concept and worked with her for a year developing the plans.
Its cruciform design was originally slated to be built on the banks of the Danube in Budapest; then destiny intervened. The advent of World War https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?companies=co0556596.
By the 1940’s Marguerite had married Tony Straude. She and her husband frequently vacationed in Sedona which by then had become a small artists’ colony. A memorial fund had been established after the death of her parents; her mother bequeathing the establishment of a spiritual trust. Marguerite began searching for a site in her beloved Sedona to build a memorial in order to fulfill her mother’s last wish. She braved the air and for the first time boarded an airplane to survey the land for the appropriate site.
Once again, destiny intervened. Her father had started a drug company in the late 1800’s, so when Marguerite discovered that someone had carved an apothecary emblem on one of the candidate sites; she knew she was on to something. This sign had been made by man, but the next sign that appeared to her seemed to be put there by God himself. The formation she had been surveying, known as Twin Buttes, has a cluster of three spires just to the east. The closest spire has been weathered into a formation that clearly resembles the Madonna and Child and is so named. The other two are large angular spires and are called the Sisters, or the Praying Nuns. Seeing the majesty of the three spires, Marguerite knew she had found the ideal location.
The Twin Buttes formation is located on National Forestry Service land so Marguerite had to get special permission for the chapel to be built there. She traveled to Washington, D. C. and petitioned her friend, Senator Barry Goldwater, to obtain a permit from the Department of Agriculture. In 1955, the Simpson Construction Company broke ground on the project and one year later, her dream was realized.
Instead of the soaring steel and glass structure of the original plan, Marguerite created a masterpiece of simple lines and subtle tones. The chapel’s focal point is a large cross that springs out of the earth between two large red rock spurs 200 feet above the arid landscape below. The 90 foot cross is framed by stained-glass windows that reveal a magnificent view of some of Sedona’s most famous rock formations. The chapel’s terraces offer picturesque views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and Cathedral Rock. To the left of the cross, a formation called Eagle Head seems to have been carved on the base of the butte. To add to the majesty of the scene, the large butte to the east is called Gibraltar because of its striking resembles the world-famous landmark on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Chapel area is believed to be infused with the same vortex energy that is claimed to be in the neighboring Bell Rock and the nearby Cathedral Rock. A visit to this peaceful and inspiring landmark is a must for photographers who flock there near sunset to capture the sunlight as it gracefully illuminates the vermilion rocks to the south and west.