Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs Arkansas

Chapel in woods

If you have no other reason to visit Eureka Springs (Arkansas) you should go to see Thorncrown Chapel.  E. Fay Jones, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed it. The small mountainside chapel has received many prestigious architecture awards, including being named one of the top ten American buildings of the twentieth century by the AIA. It’s easy to understand why. 

The airy structure is primarily glass and wood and blends in so well with the surrounding trees as to become a part of the forest. The enormous glass windows that form the walls and roof capture sunlight and transform it into a shower of sparkles.  The wood that supports the glass is designed in a series of upward reaching angles that reach to the heavens. 

From the minute I approached the Chapel I felt a sense of calm and peace.  I could show a dozen photos and none would convey the serenity and power that overwhelmed me when I entered.  I have never had such a strong reaction to being inside of any synagogue or church.  I lingered and lingered not wanting to leave.