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St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral is one of the most famous sights of New Orleans. This is a respectable building, whose spiers look at the square and the statue of President Andrew Jackson.

Story

March 1721 French engineer Adrien de Pauger arrives in the city by decree of the chief engineer of Louisiana. The main purpose of the visit is to map out a place for those who are preparing to build a church.

Photo of St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans - American ButlerThe new parish church, dedicated to Louis IX, king of France, was to be the first brick-to-pillar building in New Orleans. It was a new efficient construction method that was used in Louisiana until the middle of the 19th century.

De Pauger did not live to see the completion of the church. In his will, he asked to be buried in an unfinished building.

For six decades, the church stood, French and Spanish governors worshiped there. In this church were baptized children of colonists and children of slaves. Here ordinary parishioners and nobles got married. Through its doors, the remains of believers were carried out on their last journey to the cemetery.

And life went on as usual, until in 1788 There was no terrible fire. A fallen candle set fire to the lace draperies of the altar in the house of the military treasurer. Among the buildings that had burned to the ground were the Cathedral of St. Louis, the residence of the priests and the city council.

In one of the letters, pastor Antonio De Cedella described the speed with which the fire devoured houses. He wrote that he had sent several notes to the house of a tobacco industrialist, located in the center of the fire in two shots from a rifle, but they had not reached - the house of the tobacco man was already burning.

Almost a year passed before the charred remains of the church were cleared. At the beginning of 1789, the construction of a new cathedral began, which was completed only by Christmas 1794.

In 1819, the city council watchmaker bought a clock and a bell, and also built a central tower to accommodate them. In 1829 an organ was placed in the cathedral, and in 1825, the Italian artist Francisco Zapari decorated the interior and three altars.

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana - Photos - American ButlerIn 1844, Baroness Pontalba presented to the city council a project for the reconstruction of a building that could no longer accommodate the congregation of a growing city.

Chief Architect Proposed lengthen the church and add galleries, but was not sure that even these changes would increase the area sufficiently to meet the needs of the growing community.

As a result, the contract was signed by the Irish builder John Kirwan for the restoration of the cathedral. The contract required reconstruction, which would leave intact only the side walls and flanking hexagonal towers of the old church.

But as construction progressed, it became obvious that the side walls would also have to be demolished.

During construction, the central clock and bell tower collapsed. This catastrophic incident caused damage estimated at $ 20,000. In the following months, experts tried to determine the cause of the collapse. Bottom line - Kirwan was fired along with the architect, and the work was completed in the 1850s.

In September 1987, the cathedral witnessed the historic visit of John Paul II, and the square in front of the church was renamed in honor of the Pope. Soon after this, the status of the cathedral was upgraded to the basilica.

Architecture

The towering central spire of the cathedral, complemented by two smaller spiers and a perfectly symmetrical facade, was a favorite subject for artists, photographers and filmmakers. for many years.

At the back of the cathedral is the garden of St. Anthony, in which stands a statue of Jesus with arms raised. At night, searchlights project an impressive shadow from the statue onto the cathedral.

Although it is a Catholic prayer house, the rich history and beautiful design of the cathedral attracts visitors of all denominations and nationalities. The interior is open for independent excursions during the absence of mass, weddings and funerals.

The stained glass windows and paintings in the temple are outstanding works of art, like the gilded rococo altar that adorns the façade of the church.

Those who come to the Cathedral of St. Louis, can purchase religious items in the gift shop, and all proceeds will go to the maintenance and upkeep of the building.

Facts

  • January 22, 1829 Capuchin priest Pere Daru was buried in the cathedral. For over 40 years he worked in New Orleans: he was pastor of a cathedral from 1785 until his death at the age of 81. Within three days after his death, thousands of people came to pay homage. On the day of the funeral, it was announced the start of the shooting ceremony. It is said that now his ghost appears during the Christmas midnight mass near the left side of the altar, holding a candle.
  • On January 8, 1840, President Andrew Jackson went to the Cathedral of St. Louis, where a speech was made in his honor. After this ceremony, he conducted a military review on Place d'Armes Square. Since then, parades are regularly held here.
  • In December 1847, Zachary Taylor, the hero of the Mexican War, visited the cathedral and later also became president. After the service, the crowd happily greeted the old general, who rode his battle horse through the city.
Additional Information
Address 615 Pere Antoine Aly, New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone +1-504-525-9585
Operation mode Tours: Wed - Sat: 13:00 - 16:00
Web site Visit site
Visit the Cathedral of St. Louis, you can use the travel agency American Butler. Contact us and we will find you a guide.
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