Carmel Rock Chapel

Nestled among the trees, high on a bluff, in all of its humble glory, beauty and mystery is the Rock Chapel. It was constructed in 1891 by Carmelite monks from the nearby Carmelite Monastery.  Stones from the surrounding area were gathered and joined together with mud plaster, it is a work of great beauty.  The walls were painted with beautiful, colorful frescos and the ceiling murals were painted by two monks from France.The Chapel was used as a retreat by the monks.  The Rock Chapel was originally a part of the nearby larger monastery.  At one time approximately sixty men and boys were under the tutelage of Father Peters.  It is recorded that six nuns also resided at the larger monastery in the convent.  In 1891 Father Peters left and was soon followed by the nuns.  On November 14, 1904, fire destroyed the larger church and Carmelite monastery.  The Rock Chapel and its marked graves are all that remain of the original Carmelite Monastery.

The Rock Chapel is accessible to visitors through locked gates, but visitors are invited to visite. From Hwy 509 take Carmel Loop Road, at the intersection of Carmel Loop Road and Smithport Lake Rd (Parish Road 10) proceed to approximately 1746 Smithport Road, dirt wooded road with locked swing gate is the path to the Rock Chapel.  Call the DeSoto Tourist bureau for instructions to acquire the key or stop at the Carmel Store, grab a bite to eat, it is a favorite of the locals that know, and ask for the Rock Chapel key.