St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans
St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans
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This great temple located in the historic heart of the city of New Orleans embodies a thousand wonders because this city and the entire state of Louisiana is different from the rest of the territory of United States. And it is that we are before a building that began to be built in the 18th century and what makes it the temple of the oldest Catholics in the whole country. Something that has a lot to do with the colonial past of Louisiana in which Spain and especially France have so much to do.

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St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

In fact, both the name of the state and the saint to whom the New Orleans Cathedral is dedicated is a tribute to King Louis IX of France. A deeply Catholic 13th century king, and under whose reign the beautiful Holy Chapel began to be built in Paris or the Seventh Crusades were promoted. All of them reasons that caused this monarch to be sanctified and to be known as San Luis.

And of course in the great temple of New Orleans he is abundantly remembered, above all by recounting some of the episodes of his life in the spectacular stained glass windows that bathe its interior in light. Those stained glass windows are one more feature that links this church to the Neo-Gothic style, but the truth is that stylistically it is quite a unique building, which is mainly due to its long history of constructionand reconstructions.

Its origins date back to the early years of the 18th century, when the first temple with a wooden structure was built. But very soon that building would be modified with a new material: brick. It would remain so for much of the century, but in 1788 it was destroyed by a great fire.

During those years, Louisiana was under Spanish rule, and practically as soon as the flames of that fire were put out, its reconstruction began and in 1793 it reached the rank of a cathedral. The general lines of the floor plan are preserved from that temple, but the truth is that in the mid-nineteenth century, New Orleans being again in the hands of the French, a profound reform was undertaken.

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Interior of St. Louis Cathedral

There were various changes in the construction but the most striking were in its façade. For example, three great towers can be distinguished there. Well, originally they were covered with domes. However, in 1851 they were exchanged for those spindly spiers of neo-Gothic reminiscence. This contrasts quite a bit not only with the white color of the rest of the façade, but also with the neoclassical style predominant in it. Although it is true, that originally it was even more so with a more closed pediment, instead of this succession of floors and pilasters.

However, that classic air of the façade somehow extends into the interior space of 3 naves and two floors created from a structure of columns, lintelsand the central vault. Something quite simple that contrasts with the lively rococo altar of the chancel.

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