St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

While the French Quarter of New Orleans is best known for its decadent Mardi Gras celebrations, its most prominent feature is the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, a majestic triple-spired Catholic church that faces the winding Mississippi River.
Elements of the current cathedral building date to 1793, the year New Orleans became a diocese, but much of what is seen today is due to an effort to expand the cathedral in 1850 when New Orleans became an archdiocese.

Interior, St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

A central focus of the cathedral is its ornate high altar. In a painting above it, in French, are the words from Scripture: “This is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” said by the priest during Mass. To the altar’s right and left are Sts. Peter and Paul, the early pillars of the Church.

Painting of St. John Paul II in St. Louis Cathedral

In 1987, Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral and offered an outdoor mass for 200,000.


Ceiling, St. Louis Cathedral


Statue of Andrew Jackson

Ask your tour guide to point out the mark. Presbyterian President Andrew Jackson was said to have returned to New Orleans and its cathedral two decades after his lopsided victory at the Battle of New Orleans, admitting that without divine intervention the victory would never have been his.
For centuries, St. Louis Cathedral has endured hurricanes, epidemics, floods and warfare, and remains the most impressive Catholic feature of the City.