Old Ursuline Convent MuseumMonday, February 09, 2015
Imagine yourself a bride in New Orleans, a Catholic bride, and you have unto you a world of the most gorgeous places on earth to get married. While at the Old Ursuline Convent Museum this summer, there was a bride touring with her entourage during my visit, which was no surprise. The gardens are amazing, the entire place fairly dripping with historic detail and meaning. While I enjoyed the building/museum and the garden, what was particularly breathtaking was the church there, Saint Mary's. I'll post that tomorrow. Today, the Old Ursuline Convent:
It's the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, with brick-between-post construction (done by French Colonial engineers -- completed in 1752-53) covered with plaster.
If you're looking for elaborate museum displays, the Convent is a bit light in that regard. If you're more interested in the overall historical importance and in particular have a penchant for architecture, get thee to a...well, you know. Here.
The National Parks Service's Statement of Significance from 1960 states:
This is the finest surviving example of French colonial public architecture in the country. Louis XV in style, formal and symmetrical, with restrained ornament. It was constructed between 1748 and 1752 for nuns whose mission was to nurse the poor and teach young girls.
Tomorrow, images of Saint Mary's Catholic Church, which adjoins the Convent.