Thorncrown Chapel – Ozarks architectural landmark

Thorncrown Chapel exterior, Eureka Springs, Arkansas (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Tucked into the Ozark forest just outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas is an architectural treasure of wood and 6000 square feet of glass – the Thorncrown Chapel.

Faith-based travel is one of the popular activities in Eureka Springs, along with the arts, alternative healing and Harley riders (it’s a very unique little town.)

My own spiritual preferences tend to the quiet and reflective, so the famous local Great Passion Play outdoor drama under a 67 foot tall Christ of the Ozarks statue isn’t really my style.

I love the Sainte Chappelle-inspired Thorncrown, though.

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs AR interior (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Opened in 1980, it’s set into the surrounding trees in a thoughtful way by University of Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at the Taliesin Fellowship.

Jones called his creation “Ozark Gothic,”  but it soars 48 feet upward in the most fresh and modern way.

Sitting inside, you feel as though you’re in a lovely treehouse (and since we went at the end of the day, there were no crowds to mar contemplation.)

In between a 1901 spa treatment or maybe a antiques and craft fair in Eureka Springs, make time to pull off the road and enjoy some peaceful thinking time in this beautiful spot.

(Thorncrown Chapel is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It is located on Highway 62 West three miles outside of Eureka Springs. There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.)

One Response

  1. University of the Ozarks November 26, 2009

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