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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chapel on the Rock, Colorado

While we were on YET another scenic road during our western trip in June (Scenic Highway 7, Colorado),  we passed by one of the neatest little churches ---and of course,  I shreaked--and made George turn around to get some pictures!!!  Isn't he nice??????? (He'd say 'hen-pecked'--ha)


We were south of Estes Park --on our way toward Boulder, and came to a little town  (hole in the road) named Allenspark, CO.   On the side of the road sat a gorgeous little rock church.  AND--there was a wedding going on that afternoon!!!!!   Holy Cow---I was ready to attend... WELL---since I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt,  I'm not sure they would have let us in.  BUT--we could at least drive around and get some pictures.  That's what any good photographer would do!!!!! Right????

We didn't even know the name of this church ---but thanks to the wonderful internet,  I was able to find out all kinds of great info.  Seems as if there is a Catholic Camp nearby (Camp St. Malo).  The founder of that camp,  Monsignor Joseph Bosetti had the idea of bulding a chapel on the site.  In 1916 he and two friends observed a falling meteor during the night and in his search for the remnants the next morning,  he came across a large rock.  The beauty of the land inspired the priest and he remembered Jesus' words to Peter: "Upon this rock,  I will build my Church". (Matthew 16:18).

Bosetti prayed for 20 yrs. for funds to build the chapel.  During that time,  he found himself in a battle with the Colorado Highway Department which had plans to dynamite the enormous piece of granite to both widen and straighten the curve in the road.  Eventually Msgr. Bosetti won the battle and years later,  when the chapel became a reality, it was reported that a group of engineers who laid out the road came to the dedication and thanked him for his perseverance.

The chapel was designed by Denver architect Jacques Benedict.  The Malo family donated the funds for the building of the chapel and paid for its maintenance for decades.  The chapel was dedicated by Archbishop Urban Vehr in 1936.  It's name is St. Catherine of Siena---but is known as the Chapel on the Rock.  The picture above---taken from the internet --shows how they built this chapel on that huge rock... Amazing, huh?????


In 1993,  Pope John Paul II visited the chapel during his trip to Denver for the World Youth Day and bestowed his personal blessing on the chapel.  Over the years,  thousands of visitors have stopped as it is framed against majestic Mt. Meeker.  In 1999,  Boulder County designated the chapel as a historic site.  The Chapel on the Rock is truly a Colorado landmark.  I am SO glad we found it and took pictures that day.

Hope you enjoy my pictures.  All are mine except the first one (I wanted to show you the ROCK).  Hope you enjoy seeing this adorable little chapel... Wouldn't it be SUPER to have a wedding there?






The bride and groom are coming out to greet us.  Wasn't that nice of them?







These last two are my favorite pictures because you can see Mt. Meeker in the background.  However,  the sun was RIGHT in my face ---so I managed to get some sun spots... Oh Well---I was just thrilled to see this church and note that the bride and groom were standing there JUST for us!!!








What a beauty!  I have one more picture (which of course was my favorite).  It showed the snow on the mountains to the right in this picture---BUT the sun glare on the picture really distorted it.  SO --hopefully,  you will enjoy all of these and just imagine the snow on the tops of the mountains.... Isn't that bride and groom standing there just awesome?  (I got lucky to get these!!!!)

Hope you took time to read about how this chapel got its name (even though I'm sure the post is 'wordy')... I just think it is SO interesting.  We certainly do find some NEAT places during our travels. As I've said many times,  get off of the interstates --and enjoy the 'real' world!!

Hugs,

75 comments:

Mildred said...

Morning Betsy, What a picturesque chapel! I cannot think of a prettier place to have a wedding and how marvelous that you captured the bride and groom! I enjoyed reading the background info of the church. Loved each and every picture.

Ms. A said...

That place is magnificent! It looks like it literally grew up out of the rocks.

Pam said...

Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous!

Sciarada said...

Ciao Betsy, this chapel is a masterpiece of architecture! Adorable!
Have a excellent day!

From the Kitchen said...

I would have shrieked too! How lovely. I'd love to see inside too--to look out the windows at the vistas. Great photos.

Best,
Bonnie

John and Ellen said...

Thanks for the wonderful history to go along with your beautiful photos! Having information about the subject matter very often adds to the viewing enjoyment.

John
relaxedrush.blogspot.com
connectedtothevinephotography.blogspot.com

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

What a wonderful photo op!!! I love the beautiful chapel!!! I may have to stow away next time!!!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Beautiful, beautiful chapel.

I love the first photo a lot.

Harriet said...

Beautiful church. You were very lucky to drive by and spot it. Once when my husband and I were in Maine we saw this beautiful house on the coast. We stopped and took pictures then a few years later we saw the house on the evening news. It was George Bush's house in Maine. At the time we took the pictures he was VP.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice, i love howit blends woth all around.

Birdman said...

Looks very European in design and locale.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a stunning church! I would've wanted to stop and find out more too!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I have to say that God had this day planned just for you.To have that bridal couple standing there just as you drove up is not a coincidence.The pictures are gorgeous and as someone else said,look very European.What a magnificent church and setting.

diane b said...

Picture book stuff. the church is so ovely with its higglty pigglty stones and the wedding couple make it perfect. Well done!

Karin said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Just magnificent! I'll be sure to read more about it! Have a great day!

Jo said...

What a find, and what a catch to capture the wedding couple at when you passed the church. I love the name of the Church. Apt, and perfect. Thank goodness for Msgr Bosetti andhis prayers of perseverance! Your reaction of shrieking, reminds me of me! I do it so often, you'd think Grant was used to it already, but he still jumps out of his skin! And turns around or reverses whatever to get the picture.Thanks for a lovely post. Have a wonderful day,Betsy. Hugs Jo

Catherine said...

How majestic! A beautiful place for anyone to get married and fit for a prince and princess! Lovely!

Happy Tuesday Betsy!
xo Catherine

texwisgirl said...

oh my goodness. i wish you knew how to contact the married couple as i'm sure they'd love to see/receive a copy of your photos! what a gorgeous structure and beautiful surroundings. :)

Sandra said...

amazing, truly amazing church. it looks like it grew out of the rock and formed itself. if i had a bucket list, this would be on it.

Dar said...

My,oh,my, how gorgeous. I like your photos so much better than the net.
The bride and groom would sure be surprised to get copies of your photos, if you only knew. How wonderful. So happy for persistence.
A memorable church on the Rock.
BlessYourHearts

Lucy said...

How neat! I haven't been in Colorado since we moved from there in 75. Long time.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

what a great find!
that church is so beautiful!!
i got to see this.

super awesome photos!

have a great day.
hugs
betty xx

Lynn said...

Betsy, This church is perfect for the backdrop of those awesome mountains. I am so bummed because we stayed in Estes Park for 5 days in 2006, before that we were in Denver and went from Denver to Estes Park, stopping in Boulder for lunch on the way. Thinking back now, we could have passed this and at the time I was just so awe struck at the Rockies, think I never saw the beauty closer to me! So glad you have these pic and to have a wedding coming out when you were there! Perfect. Almost like your very own photo shoot. Blessings.

Linda said...

Breathtaking, Betsy!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is where I want to get married!!
This is a gorgeous chapel...so picturesque.
Love the rich history....one man's perseverance and the world can share it forever!
I hope you thanked the Bride and Groom for posing for you both.
xo

Arkansas Patti said...

What an amazing looking church and bless that priest for continuing the fight.
I suppose a wedding photog was taking their picture as it is odd seeing them all by them selves with that amazing back drop.

CottonLady said...

Beautiful pictures and a great post today, Betsy. That is such a unique church! I have been to Meeker Mountain, but never saw the church.

Have a blessed day!
CottonLady

Chatty Crone said...

That church is so gorgeous - it could be used in movies! The sun that surrounds it... Awesome.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

What a beautiful little chapel! I love the story behind it--it's wonderful.

camp and cottage living said...

Oh, I love stonework! The setting is beutiful, I can see why one would want to get married there!
Thanks, Betsy, for taking us along on you travels!

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a serendipity! The chapel and its setting are beautiful, and I love the story of how it came into existence.

Thanks for sharing. Hugs!

Leontien said...

very nice pictures indeed! and you were ready to be a wedding chrasher hu?! (maybe i misspelled that but you get the idea)!

comming to tennesse in a couple of weeks! whoohoo!!

And thank you for voting!!!
Leontien

Larry said...

Hi Betsy... I have visited there a number of times... it's beautiful little chapel and such a neat place to visit! Larry

Lady Di Tn said...

This was well worth the stop. My Sister and her husband, stopped at a Catholic Church on one of their trips out west and asked if they could attend the wedding and the couple and family were delighted. They too had on shorts but sit on the back row and enjoyed the service. Peace

Cicero Sings said...

You are so right ... what a great looking church. And look how it has lasted through the test of time!! Beautiful. I would have made George turn around too. Ha.

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

You were there at the right moment!! Just a gorgeous chapel :)
I thought you might like to check out this link

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/7/prweb8639756.htm

Top waterfalls around Ashville!

xo, misha

Happyone : ) said...

What a beautiful old church and wonderful place to get married.
I too would have stopped for pictures!! : )

Terry and Linda said...

WOW! That is amazing. Neither Terry or I have been to Estes Park so seeing your trip and backroad travel is pretty cool for us also.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Erin Wallace said...

This is beautiful! Colorado is one of my favorite places because it seems like there is another picturesque view around every corner!

Denise said...

Wow Betsy, I am so glad you asked George to turn back so that you could take all these lovely photos. What a super little church.

Twilight Man said...

This is truly a beautiful and unique looking chapel that has so much history behind. Normally such pretty pictures would be made into jigsaw puzzles in the stores! I am amazed that it looked like a beautiful painting. I am going to sleep in 10 minutes and your photos made me happy to retire!!

Good night Betsy and sweet dreams to me!

*Honest Abe said...

Beautiful photography.

Daisy said...

What a neat church in a beautiful setting, Betsy. How fortunate to be there when the bride and groom were standing there too! Pretty pictures! :)

Ginny said...

Amazing!! Don't you really want to go inside when you return? But maybe it is locked unless there is something going on...I wonder where the wedding guests are? Your pictures are beautiful, especially the one with the sun shining on it. I just caught up with yesterday's post on Little Colorado River Gorge. The picture of George far, far away is amazing, it puts it all in perspective. But if there are snaes in this place, I think I will only look at it on the computer! What a shock to see those sheep!!!! I would never think of sheep being there.

Susie Swanson said...

What a beautiful chapel and place for a wedding. You have a very gifted talent of photography..Susie

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Oh, what a beautiful chapel. I would have loved to walk inside to see it. Lovely, lovely posting. I enjoyed your photos very much.

Loren said...

Oh my goodness Betsy!! The Church and the surroundings are just breathtaking! Soo wonderful knowing the story behind it.... Just makes it that much more beautiful doesn't it :) I Just LOVE how the Lord directed you & George to such amazing sites!

Becca's Dirt said...

Gorgeous place. Tell George that was a good thing to do - turn around for you. Interesting church and I love the stone. The bride and groom - nice bonus.

Janice K said...

Really beautiful!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What a great find on your road trip. It could be in a Thomas Kincaid painting!

Tricia ♥Charming Barn Hunter♥ said...

What an awesome story... amazing how things like this come together. =0

It kinda reminds me of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bolivia, Germany (except on a much smaller scale) how it's built right into the rock. WoW

imac said...

What a wonderful Church Betsy, I'm pleased Im traveling with you.

Elettra said...

Church very special in a very suggestive landscape, visitors were lucky !!!!!!!!!

eileeninmd said...

Lovely photos of the chapel, Betsy! I am glad you got George to turn around. The story is wonderful too. Thanks for sharing!

Retired English Teacher said...

I've lived in Colorado my entire life and have not ever seen this church. We rarely go to Estes through Allenspark. I loved the photos, the history and the story of the church. I must get up there and see it.

It really is cool that you saw the bride and groom. I wonder where the rest of their party was.

Glenda said...

Gorgeous pics, Betsy . . . and the bride and groom make it storybook perfect!! Interesting story, too!

LV said...

Every visit with you is like another vacation for me. Love it.

Ann said...

Such a gorgeous chapel and the surrounding scenery is lovely. Fabulous location for a wedding.Love all the history behind this too

Diane said...

Very beautiful little church. Thanks for the information and for sharing this. Diane

Wendy said...

What an amazing church! It looks like something out of a fairy tale!! Lucky you to have a bride and groom just at the right time.
You and George certainly have such fun trips.
Hugs

Andrea said...

Wow, what a very beautiful church. It is like a virtual creation only, or just like a doll house. And the last 2 photos, i agree they are the best, complete the picture of it being a virtual drawing with the presence of the bride and groom. Amazing natural composition, i hope their wedded life last forever! Lol.

Shug said...

Oh my Betsy. How gorgeous. If I were a betting person,(and I'm not) I would bet that the bride and groom would love to have copies of those last two photos.

great job.

hugs,
shug

Janie said...

Great info on this history of this church, Betsy. It's inspiring to view and the backdrop is pretty inspiring, too. What a great place for a wedding.

Rose said...

My first thought was what a wonderful place to get married! It is a real beauty and you done good to give us the history and show it to us! What a remarkable story and place it is.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This is such a pretty church and it has a wonderfully inspiring story! The next time I am in Colorado I'll have to see if I can visit it.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

What a fantastic scene Betsy!!! Blessed to see that atleast. Thanks for the post. (When I make my presence here, its your header which motivates me a lot. I owe great thanks for that) Have a good day!

Auntie Bliss said...

Unreal that you landed there when a bride and groom were!!!! This happened to my youth on the beach the other day too.
Welll....my maiden name is Estes :)
I've always wanted to go to that park.
Mary is fine...busy getting bible school ready...she cannot for some reason sign into her blog but I can.
She says she doesn't have anything to write anyway. I'll tell her you asked about her :)

SquirrelQueen said...

What a beautiful little chapel and it is amazing how they built in on that rock. I'm glad to hear it has been designated an historic site so it will be preserved for a long time for many generations to enjoy.

Ann said...

Isn't he nice??????? (He'd say 'hen-pecked'--ha)

I vote Nice with a capital N

KathyA said...

Interesting that his muse was a meteor falling from the sky, and this looks like it has risen right from that massive rock. It is truly beautiful!!

And I'm glad George didn't have a wreck when you shrieked!! :) Good man!!!

Neal said...

Very,very nice Betsy!!!

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

What a lovely church! Thank you, too, for taking the time to learn about the church and provide such an informative post. Nice of the bride and groom to pose just for you too!

Beth said...

How beautiful, Betsy! So often, it seems that some of the most memorable sights on a trip are the unexpected ones that you happen upon by chance. Sweet serendipity!

Lynda said...

WOW! That view is something you might see in a movie - - - like "The Sound of Music". Absolutely stunning. Glad George decided to stop because it would definitely have been a moment for you to grab the wheel to turn the car around.

Judy B said...

Betsy, all the pictures are beautiful!I love small and old churches. I am also a great lover of the Smokies!! Take care and God Bless.
Please consider visiting my blog at gosplgirlsreflections.blogspot.com
Blessings!
Judy