St. Louis Cathedral, also known as Saint Louis Cathedral, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and is the oldest cathedral in 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.
Saint Louis Cathedral is in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, on the Place John Paul II a promenaded section of Chartres Street that stretches one block between Saint Peter Street on the upriver boundary and Saint Ann Street on the downriver boundary. It is located next to Jackson Square and facing the Mississippi River in the heart of New Orleans, situated between the historic buildings of the Cabildo and the Presbytère. It is one of the few Roman Catholic churches in the United States that fronts a major public square.
History of Saint Louis CathedralEdit
Three Roman Catholic churches have stood on the site since 1718. The first was a crude wooden structure in the early days of the colony. Construction of a larger brick and timber church was begun in 1725 and was completed in 1727. Along with numerous other buildings, the church was destroyed in the Great New Orleans Fire (1788) on Good Friday, March 21, 1788. The cornerstone of a new church was laid in 1789 and the building was completed in 1794. In 1793 Saint Louis church was elevated to cathedral rank as the See of the Diocese of New Orleans, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States. In 1819, a central tower with the clock and bell was added.
Enlarging the building to meet the needs of the growing congregation had been pondered since 1834, and J. N. B. de Pouilly was consulted to design plans for a new building. De Pouilly also designed St. Augustine Church in Treme, the first church building dedicated as a parish church outside the French Quarter. (The Mortuary Chapel on North Rampart had been dedicated in 1827 as a chapel, and Saint Vincent de Paul was established in a little frame church in 1838 but not dedicated.) On March 12, 1849, the diocese contracted with John Patrick Kirwan to enlarge and restore the cathedral, using De Pouilly's plans.
These specified that everything except the lateral walls and the lower portions of the existing towers on the front facade be demolished. During the reconstruction, it was determined that the sidewalls would have to be demolished also. Then, during construction in 1850, the central tower collapsed. De Pouilly and Kirwan were replaced. As a consequence, very little of the Spanish Colonial structure survived. The present structure primarily dates to 1850. The bell from the 1819 tower was reused in the new building. It remains there today. During the renovation, St. Patrick's Church served as the pro-cathedral for the city.
On April 25, 1909, a dynamite bomb was set off in the cathedral, blowing out windows and damaging galleries. The following year a portion of the foundation collapsed, necessitating the building's closure while repairs were made, from Easter 1916 to Easter 1917.
Saint Louis Cemetery is known as the burial place of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and her tomb brings hundreds of pilgrims every year. The cemetery is also the burial place of various prominent New Orleans residents, including Etienne de Bore, Homer Plessy, Bernard de Marigny, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Barthelemy Lafon, Paul Morphy, and Ernest Nathan Morial. Although not buried in the cemetery, there is a copper name plate for Madame Marie Delphine La Laurie in alley 4.
The cathedral is said to be haunted by Fr. Antonio de Sedella, more commonly known as Pere Antoine. He was a priest at the cathedral and his body is buried within the church. He is said to walk the alley named after him next to the cathedral in the early mornings. Accounts of his apparitions by parishioners and tourists claim that he appears during Christmas Midnight Mass near the left side of the altar, holding a candle. Another haunting is said to take place in the cathedral by Pere Dagobert, a monk who resided in the church. It is said that his voice can be heard chanting the Kyrie on rainy days.
The Saint Louis Cathedral features four arena interactions. From farthest left to right, they are:
- An altar that can be used to bash the opponent's head with it.
- A lit candle stand that can be used to strike the opponent with it, thus setting them on fire.
- A chandelier that can be used to jump kick the opponent multiple times.
- A plant pot that can be thrown at the opponent with it like a rag doll.