The Spanish founded Santa Fe in 1610. It was occupied by Indians, Mexicans, and Spanish and was under Spanish control until a war placed this area under the rule of the New Republic of Mexico for twenty-five years. As a result of the US victory in the Mexican war, this area was ceded to the United States in 1848. The city of Santa Fe has a multiplicity of cultures - Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo cultures provide a rich, varied, and colorful heritage. Loretto Chapel is the first Gothic building west of the Mississippi. The chapel is best known for its choir loft staircase, called miraculous, due to its two 360 degree turns with no visible means of supports, defying engineering logic, and due to the legend of its construction. An anonymous carpenter is said to have fashioned the steps in 1878, using only wooden pegs. Legend says that St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, inspired the work.