Not only is the Saint Louis Cathedral exquisite, it is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. While we were in Jackson Square, we definitely had to check it out. Located next to Jackson Square and facing the Mississippi River in the heart of New Orleans, it is situated between the historic buildings of the Cabildo and the Presbytère.
Like most building in New Orleans, the Cathedral is really old, but well preserved. I was really shocked to find out that it is the oldest cathedral in what would become the United States. The first church on the site was built in 1718; the third, built in 1789, was raised to cathedral rank in 1793. The cathedral was expanded and largely rebuilt in 1850, with little of the 1789 structure remaining. As you can see from the pictures above how beautiful it is even from the outside and its triple steeples towering above its historic neighbors are quite easy to recognize. I had seen it many times on tv and was quite pleased to be able to see it in person.
After taking a few pictures we headed inside for our first look at this amazing cathedral. The only thing I can compare it to is St. Patrick’s in Manhattan. It is so beautiful and was amazed every time I turned around. We visited right after Christmas and it was still decorated for the season. The manger was so touching and I couldn’t help but take some pictures.
Just above the entrance to the Cathedral is their magnificent Holtkamp Pipe Organ. You can see how beautiful it is, but it probably sounds even better. Sadly we weren’t able to hear it as they were closing early for a wedding rehearsal. Hopefully we will be able to hear it the next time we visit the area.
As with any art work influenced by European artists, you have to look up and check out the ceilings. These paintings are sometime missed, but are phenomenal and not to be overlooked. This is a shot of the ceiling at the Saint Louis Cathedral.
Even though we didn’t have a lot of time due to the wedding rehearsal, we got a feel for the church and its history. I wish we could have spent more time, but I am glad we got to see it if only for a bit. If you have been to Saint Louis Cathedral please share your experience and thoughts.
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