LA SCALA DI SANTA FE’

LEGGENDE

Scala di Santa Fe'

Nel New Messico, a Santa Fe, vi è un bell’esempio di architettura gotica: la cappella di Loreto. A renderla famosa non è la sua architettura, ma una misteriosa scala costruita al suo interno.

La sua storia iniziò tra il 1873 e il 1878 con la costruzione della chiesa all’interno di una scuola femminile gestita da suore.

La chiesa era quasi terminata quando ci si accorse che mancava una scala che permettesse di raggiungere il coro sopraelevato. Le suore non volevano assolutamente una normale scala diagonale, sostenendo che avrebbe tolto troppo spazio all’interno della chiesa.

Furono convocati i migliori architetti, ma nessuno di loro riuscì a trovare un sistema per costruire una scala che soddisfacesse i desideri delle religiose.

Le suore decisero quindi di rivolgersi a Dio. Pregarono per nove giorni e il decimo si presentò un uomo con un asino e una cassetta di attrezzi, dicendo che era un falegname in cerca di lavoro. Le religiose gli illustrarono il loro problema e l’uomo le rassicurò dicendo che avrebbe costruito la scala come loro desideravano. L’uomo lavorava solo di notte e dopo alcune settimane la scala era terminata.

Costruita senza l’uso di colla o chiodi, si avvolgeva due volte su se stessa e raggiungeva il coro.

Inoltre la scala pareva reggersi senza nessun tipo di sostegno. Il legno era sconosciuto e i gradini erano trentatré come gli anni di Cristo alla sua morte. Quando le suore si recarono dall’uomo per pagarlo non riuscirono a trovarlo, fu inevitabile per loro pensare che quel falegname altro non fosse che San Giuseppe.

Da allora la scala “miracolosa” divenne meta di pellegrinaggio.

Joe Nickell, un esperto indagatore di misteri statunitense, ha condotto una ricerca pubblicata nel 1998 sulla rivista The Skeptical Inquirer. Nickell spiega che la soluzione adottata dal falegname è ingegnosa ma tutt’altro che rara, in particolare fu sviluppata a partire dal sedicesimo secolo in Inghilterra e in Francia.

A differenza di ciò che sostiene la leggenda, esistono comunque diversi sostegni che consentono alla scala di stare in piedi, tanto che Nickel termina la sua indagine scrivendo che questa scala “rispetta le leggi della fisica come ogni altra scala conosciuta”.

Due anni dopo la ricerca di Nickell uscì un articolo in cui Mary Jean Cook, una storica locale, annunciava di aver scoperto l’identità del misterioso falegname. Si trattava di Francois-Jean Rochas un artigiano noto nella zona assassinato nel 1896 e che, nell’articolo sul ritrovamento del suo cadavere, era presentato come il costruttore della scala di Loreto.

Anche sul legname il mistero sembra essere risolto. Si tratta di abete, anche se gli esperti hanno avuto troppo poco materiale da esaminare per stabilire di quale dei dieci tipi di abeti presenti in Nord America si tratti.

Nonostante sia evidente il carattere leggendario della storia, la scala di Santa Fe continua a esercitare un fascino capace di attraversare i secoli e i continenti.

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