The official name of this church is: Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France, and this says all! France, the elder daughter of the Roman Catholic Church, Louis IX, the saint king of France, Basilica, consecrated by the Pope. . . . good it has all these titles, as this church is from historical or architectural viewpoints a rather common building, except it is located on Jackson Square, and can be seen in nice perspectives(picture 1).
The cathedral has been built in 1789 (year of the French Revolution!) on the ruins of the first church (built in 1727) which burned the year before, and renovated in 1849.
The building is quite recent and the décor inside is even more recent, generally; most interesting are the painted glass windows which represent scenes of St Louis’ life. Picture 2: St Louis in Tunis on Crusade, St Louis the Cathedral builder (picture 3). . . . .
Peter, Paul, other saints, angels, . . . make the décor behind the altar in a very baroque style (picture 4), as are the paintings on the ceiling (picture 5).
In the cathedral is also a copy of St Louis’ bible, a statue of Jeanne d’Arc, paintings of saints or St Louis; you can spend a lot of time visiting this landmark of New Orleans, looking at all the décor.
Overlooking Jackson Square and flanked by the magnificient Cabildo and Presbystere, St. Louis Cathedral has become one of the city's most cherished landmarks thanks to its elegant white facade and high steeples. It's actually the third church to be built on the same site, the first (built in 1718) having been destroyed by a hurricane in 1722 and the second (built in 1725) having been destroyed by the Great Fire in 1788. The current building dates back to 1789, and it officially became a cathedral in 1793, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States. Not much remains of the original structure since the cathedral had to be significantly enlarged in 1850 to meet the needs of a growing parish. Unfortunately, due to some errors made when drawing up the plans, practically everything that was part of the old building collapsed and had to be replaced. Although I can't compare it with the original church, I think it's safe to say that the architects did a remarkable job with the new cathedral, both inside and out. It's definitely worth going inside (admission is free) to see the main altar, stained glass windows, and painted ceiling.
I really wasn't expecting this to be as enjoyable as I found it. I'm sure you'll see the church while in New Orleans but I would recommend going inside. It is very beautiful. I would especially recommend at least a short stop for the decorated ceilings. See picture...
In the middle of July (when I went) it really was a safe-haven from the heat. Definitely take the time to stop in and "say a little prayer for you!"
It is a Catholic church. There is a gift shop here which is great for those devoted grandmothers and such. Come Sunday and catch a mass :)
This is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the entire US, established as a parish in 1720. So began Louisiana's Catholic heritage--a vital part of the state's culture. This is why the state of Louisiana has "parishes" instead of counties, as the other states have.
It's a beautiful piece of work. Not as imposing as some in Europe, but it's worth your while to walk all the way around it and have a good look. This is the very center of the city.
St.Louis Cathedral is beautiful! We visited 2 times actually, one during the mass and another day to take pictures of the interior (like the altar, the ceiling, some paintings etc) It was very calming comparing to the bustle outside in the general area of French Quarter. It’s so easy to visit it as it is centrally located right on Jackson square which is the center of French Quarter. We spent some time checking at the windows, you can find St.Louis at some of the lower ones. There’s a small gift shop too.
The cathedral is the oldest catholic cathedral in continual use in USA, it’s there since 1718 although it was destroyed by the fire (1784) and was rebuilt 10 years later. Have in mind that it was much smaller than the one we see today though.
It’s with no doubt a landmark for the area, I loved it looking at it from many different spots in the city as it dominates the skyline in French Quarter. Even at night its beautiful to see, check how the backside of the church looks like at pic, I loved the reflection of the statue on the cathedral’s wall.
The St. Louis Cathedral - Basilica is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the U.S.; since 1718. Flags in front represent countries New Orleans has been under. Statues of Mary, St. Joseph, Joan of Arc, St. Louis, St. Anthony, St. Therese adorned the church. The life of St. Louis is depicted on the lower windows on both sides of the church. Our visit the the beautiful cathedral was hampered by the aggressive beggars inside.
located on jackson square saint louis cathedral is the most recognizable land mark in new orleans. the first church of st. louis was built on this site in 1718. in the great fire of 1784 the church of st. louis was destroyed. a new church was built between 1789 and 1794. in 1850 the cathedral of saint louis was extensively remodeled to the form that you see today. the saint louis cathedral also known as the basilica of st. john king of france and is one of the top historic attractions of new orleans.
If you want to orient yourself when in the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral is about as good a landmark as any. Reportedly, the longest continually operating cathedral in the United States it is the crowning jewel in a catholic city brimming with churches. Set on Jackson Square, it has a very regal quality to it and the interior is welcoming in its simplistic beauty.
Magnificent St. Louis Cathedral presides over Jackson Square as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States. Established as a place of worship in 1716, the structure was completed on this site in 1727 then destroyed by fire in 1788.
A generous benefactor, Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, enabled the church to be rebuilt and it reopened its doors in 1794. A sketch shows that it was smaller in scale than the church you see today and had three rounded towers, rather than outright spires.
The present-day church was built and enlarged over the Spanish foundations in 1851. This massive cathedral is crowned with three dramatic spires which point heavenward and bears a clock beneath its tallest spire.
Inside, an atmosphere of sanctity envelopes the visitor. At the front of the sanctuary, a gilded work entitled Sacrifice of the Lamb of God hangs over the altar; throughout the sanctuary statues of the saints peer down from their pedestals (pics # 2 & 3)
Flags representing the countries once dominant in New Orleans hang high overhead on the right side; you'll see the Papal flag, the coat of arms of the Basilica and coat of arms of the dioceses of the Metropolitan Province of New Orleans...creating a dramatic effect!
Like most of the samples from the period - residential, religious and everything in between - the Saint Louis Cathedral stands today as a representation of the Greek Revival Style. A widely popular style used throughout America from about 1820 to the 1860s, which based its design on ancient Greek architectural forms. The use of porches and porticos supported by stately columns was reminiscent of Greek temples -- much like you would see in photos of Greek monuments still in existence. Often seen in banks, courthouses and other public buildings as well as houses, the style became known as the National Style during its period of greatest popularity.
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