The St. Joan of Arc Chapel has traveled throughout the entire world over its life. It not sits on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1966 it was dedicated to Joan of Arc following its transfport from Long Island to Milwaukee. The chapel began its life in the Rhone River Valley in France. The chapel's original name was St. Martin de Sayssuel, and is estimated to have been built around the 15th century. The building was left in ruins following the French Revolution, but after World War I the chapel was rediscovered and moved to Jericho, New York in 1927 by architect Jacques Couelle and Gertrude Hill Gavin.
In 1964 the chapel was moved to Milwaukee. The process took more than nine months and a reconstruction occurred once it was on the grounds of the University. While the chapel was located in New York, the Joan of Arc stone was added to the church. The legend of the stone involved Joan of Arc praying to a statue of Jesus' mother Mary while standing on the stone. Following the prayer, she kissed the stone and since then, the air around the stone is said to be colder.
The chapel is filled with a variety of Christian artifacts including many that predate the chapel itself. These include various crucifixes, and Spanish tapestries and coats of arms. These items and their environment are unique because they are a part of one of the few exhibits visitors are allowed to handle when touring the chapel.
St. Joan of Arc is a popular destination for those visiting the campus of Marquette University, as well as those traveling through the city. The chapel is believed to be the only medieval structure in the entire western hemisphere dedicated to its original purpose.
Tours are available for the chapel and last about 30 minutes. They are free of charge but visitors are encouraged to make a donation. Mass is held at the chapel weekdays during the school year. The chapel is closed on all major holidays and on days when the university is closed. Weddings and baptisms are not held at the church, much to the chagrin of many who discover the charming building and have a desire to hold their special event within its walls. The chapel features many of the traditional architectural details of a Catholic church and features beautiful stained glass windows. These windows were not a part of the original chapel.
The chapel and Marquette University are located a few minutes west of the heart of downtown Milwaukee. There are a number of other attractions and dining establishments nearby. Those visiting the chapel and campus can spend their afternoon shopping at the Grand Avenue Shops, strolling through cathedral square, or visiting the Miller Brewery. Milwaukee's famous lakefront is a few blocks away from the Marquette campus and during the summer there will aways be something exciting going on over on that side of town. From music festivals to farmers markets, there is plenty to do around the city of Milwaukee. Visit Cream City and tour the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette.