St. Louis Cathedral
- Type: Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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As the centerpiece of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest active cathedral in the United States. Originally built in the early 1700s, the cathedral is named in honor of Louis IX, a powerful 13th-century French king. The structure seen today is actually the third cathedral built on this spot, since the first two were ultimately destroyed. Religious services are still held here, as well as numerous cultural events, including free concerts. After touring the cathedral and the Old Ursuline Convent (the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley), consider strolling through St. Anthony's Garden to see the impressive statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The garden also has a memorial to 30 crew members of a French ship that lost their lives to yellow fever in 1857.
The St. Louis Cathedral is open to the public every day from at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 2 p.m. on Sunday. Entry is free, and guided tours are often available in the afternoon. For more information about upcoming events, visit the St. Louis Cathedral website.