The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was the first church in New Mexico to attain the status of cathedral basilica. The Catholic faith entered New Mexico in 1598 by Franciscan Friars who accompanied the Spanish colonists who had migrated north from Mexico. The city of Santa Fe was founded in 1610 and the first church was erected on this site. In 1680 , an Indian revolt destroyed the existing church which was not rebuilt until 1714. All these early churches were made of adobe in the New Mexico Mission Style. In 1846, New Mexico was conquered by the United States in the Mexican American War and care of the large Catholic flock was transferred from the Bishop of Durango to a new bishopric in Santa Fe. The old adobe church thereby became a Cathedral, but later it was replaced with a large stone structure which was built at the behest of the first Archbishop of Santa Fe, Archbishop Lamy, who was a Frenchman.
The bronze doors were installed in 1986 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral. They contain twenty bronze panels depicting various scenes of events in the history of the Faith in Santa Fe.