For over a century, St. Louis Cathedral in the New Orleans area has been the site of some of the most significant events in Louisiana’s history. It is the heart of the city and an architectural marvel.
In 1718, Bienville laid out a new town, which he named La Nouvelle-Orléans in honor of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was regent for the young King Louis XV. The city was built on the natural levee or “crescent” formed by the Mississippi River during its annual flooding. It was divided into two parts: the Upper Town, which consisted mainly of a residential neighborhood with narrow streets laid out in a grid pattern near the river; and Lower Town, which had a commercial center and was home to most of its major public buildings, including the church and government buildings.
The layout of that first settlement would be patterned after the design of Paris at that time. It included side streets laid out perpendicular to an avenue (today’s Rampart Street) and parallel to another (Decatur Street). The intersection of these two avenues became known as Place d’Armes (now Jackson Square).
The St. Louis Cathedral is a cathedral church in New Orleans, Louisiana. The church is the home of the Archbishop of New Orleans and is well-known for its role in restoring the American flag after it was lowered to half-staff by British troops in 1815.
The oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States is the St. Louis Cathedral, which serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. It is located at 615 Pere Antoine Alley (French: Alley Pere Antoine), in New Orleans, Louisiana’s French Quarter.
To save it from destruction during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, Major William Bradford removed the building’s spire and sent it to President James Madison in Washington, D.C., as a gift; this was possibly the first instance of a flag being used for that purpose. The cathedral was designated as a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI on June 24, 1967.
It remains one of the most prominent features of Jackson Square, both for its architecture and for its central role over the years in various religious events and other civic functions. The cathedral was founded in 1720 and dedicated on All Saints Day (November 1) in 1791; it was consecrated in 1848. It became a cathedral in 1922 when the Diocese of New Orleans was established and split from the Diocese of Louisiana.