Friday, September 7, 2012

St. Louis Cathedral & Jackson Square

Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana [Photo by author]

One of the most picturesque cityscapes in the United States is surely Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Informational sign about New Orleans on the south side of the square. [Photo by author]

Of course, New Orleans, Louisiana was founded in 1718AD by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, who served four different terms as governor.  His brother, the Sieur d'Iberville had earlier founded the city of Biloxi in what is now Mississippi.  The city was strategically located near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and at a portage site from the great river and Lake Pontchartrain to the north.  It would be named New Orleans in honor of Philippe, Duke of Orleans, nephew of Louis XIV and regent of France from 1715-1723 during the early reign of Louis XV.  As the whole colony was named for King Louis XIV, Louisiana, the main parish, and which would become the cathedral, of the new city was named for his patron, King St. Louis IX of France.

A sign noting the historical name for the main square of New Orleans. [Photo by author]

Jackson Square, named for Andrew Jackson in honor of his 1815 victory over the British at the Battle at Chalmette in the War of 1812, was originally known as the Place d'Armes, or, during the Spanish era (1763-1803), Plaza de Armas.  It was here that the city's main parish, and, after 1793, Cathedral, along with its main government building, the Cabildo, are located.

St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica, New Orleans [Photo by author]

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, sits on a site used as a Church since 1718 and the founding of the city.  In 1727, a permanent structure was completed, only to burning down in the great fire of 1788.  A new, Spanish-built Church, was completed in 1794.  Later, in 1851, the present structure was completed as it was decided to remodel and enlarge the earlier building.  It remains a distinctive and immediately recognizable structure!

The Cabildo of New Orleans, Louisiana [Photo by author]

Immediately "upstream" or west of the Cathedral was the Cabildo, which was the seat of the Spanish government that ruled "Luisiana" from 1763 until the return of the colony to a short-lived French rule in 1803.  This building saw the official transfer of rule to the United States.

Live well!

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