Not only is the Saint Louis Cathedral exquisite, but it is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. While we were in Jackson Square in December of 2018, 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 buildings 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. For another piece of history, On January 14, 1840, Andrew Jackson laid the cornerstone of the monument, which is now a classic icon of the city of New Orleans. 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 I was continually 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 artwork influenced by European artists, you have to look up and check out the ceilings. These paintings are sometimes 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. Here is a link to their website if you are planning your own trip one day. If you have been to Saint Louis Cathedral please share your experience and thoughts.
St Louis Cathedral Visitor Information
615 Pere Antoine Alley | New Orleans, LA 70116-3291
The Cathedral is open daily from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm with Daily Mass being at 12:05pm.
Self-guided brochures are available at the entrance for a $1.00 donation. Visitors can get an impromptu tour from our volunteer docents when available. Guided tours for groups are only available with prior reservations.
Here is a link to their Mass schedule if you are interested in attending a service.
|Monday – Friday:||12:05 p.m. Daily Mass|
|Sunday:||9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.|
|Holy Days of Obligation:||Holy Day Eve – TBA
Holy Day – 12:05 p.m.
except for Christmas and January 1st
|December 24 – Vigil at 5:00 p.m.Midnight Mass
December 25 – 11:00 a.m.
|New Years Eve: New Years Day:||5:00 p.m. Vigil MassSolemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
|Ash Wednesday:||Cathedral closed Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras
Ash Wednesday Mass: 12:05 p.m.Ashes distributed during Mass and in St. Anthony Garden from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
|Lent:||Monday through Friday 12:05 p.m.
Sacrament of Penance by appointment 11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Mon. through Fri
Stations of the Cross Friday following 12 noon Mass
Sunday 11:00 a.m.
|Holy Week:||Palm Sunday
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