The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, also called St. Louis
Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Roi de France), is the seat of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans; it has the distinction of being the
oldest continuously operating 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.
The St. Louis Cathedral is one of
New Orleans' most notable landmarks. This venerable building, its triple
steeples towering above its historic neighbors, the Cabildo and the Presbytere -
looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his
bronze horse and on the block-long Pontalba Buildings with their lacy ironwork
galleries. This is the heart of old New Orleans.
Saint Louis Cathedral is
in the French Quarter of New Orleans, on the Place John Paul II (French: Place
Jean-Paul II), a promenaded section of Chartres Street (rue de Chartres) that
stretches one block between St. Peter Street (rue Saint-Pierre) on the upriver
boundary and St. Ann Street (rue Sainte-Anne) 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.