St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans (must see)

Saint Louis Cathedral's triple spires are instantly recognizable to most tourists as the main symbol of the French Quarter. Many have taken photos of the gleaming white facade set against a clear blue sky from across the picturesque Jackson Square; however, relatively few have ventured inside to witness the glorious mural and statuary, transporting visitors nearly 300 years back in time to the cathedral's founding. Along the first floor, stained glass windows depict the life of King Louis IX, the French monarch who led two crusades.

Saint Louis proudly holds the title of the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. The existing structure, which replaced two previous buildings destroyed by fires, dates back to 1794, though it underwent remodeling and expansion in 1851. The influences of both Spanish and French cultures are readily apparent in both the artwork and the flags displayed near the chandeliers in the main aisle of the sanctuary.

Notably, Pope John Paul II conducted a prayer service for clergy here during his visit to New Orleans in 1987; in commemoration of the event, the nearby pedestrian mall was renamed in his honor. Of particular interest is his portrait in a Jackson Square setting, displayed on the cathedral's inner sidewall.

Visitors can often enjoy free tours conducted by docents, or they can opt for a self-guided tour using brochures when there are no church events taking place. A fine pipe organ is frequently played for the delight of guests, and there is also a small gift shop to explore.

Tip:
Take note of the sloping floor, a clever architectural design that somehow manages to keep the building upright even as the ground beneath it continues to sink.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New Orleans. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. Louis Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: St. Louis Cathedral
Sight Location: New Orleans, USA (See walking tours in New Orleans)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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