Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado, USA about 1892

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THE MOUNTAIN OF THE HOLY CROSS, COLORADO — Solemn and awful in its isolation from the lower world there rises in the heart of the Rocky Mountains a weird and most impressive peak upon which many an eye has looked with superstitious reverence. For there in lines of crystal clearness, and visible for many miles away, Nature has traced the form of a gigantic cross. Two monstrous fissures in the mountain’s side so intersect each other at right angles as to produce this beautiful phenomenon; but though it can be thus explained, still there are times when the effect that it produces is almost supernatural. It is invariably radiant with the dawn hours before the morning mists have left the valleys, and long after the shades of evening have fallen on the lower hills, with outstretched arms that mighty cross seems giving to the sleeping world its benediction. The Mountain of the Holy Cross is not so high as some of its companions, yet it has an altitude of 14,000 feet, and its extraordinary appearance makes it unique among the mountains of the world. Moreover, its ascent is exceedingly difficult and dangerous. But how sublime the prospect when the ascent is made! How few Americans as yet realize what scenery is here outspread for their enjoyment! In Colorado alone there is a magnificent mountain chain embracing an area of hundreds of square miles, and abounding in wonderful canons, valleys, lakes and rivers, above which tower snow-clad summits rivaling and even surpassing the most famous monarchs of the Alps. It is in such an environment that the Mountain of the Holy Cross forever holds aloft the glittering symbol of Christianity. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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