St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

New Orleans in the state of Louisiana lies in the south eastern area of the state. The Mississippi River plays an important part in the lives of its residents as New Orleans is spread out on both sides of the huge river. Traffic on the river provides a major source of revenue for the city. The city takes its name from Philippe II, Duke of Orleans. He was the Regent of France when New Orleans was founded in 1718. The many cultures that made up New Orleans are still evident today. The city has many nicknames, but two of the most well known are "The Big Easy'' and "The Crescent City''.

New Orleans continues to have diversity in many areas. The Cuisine, Music, the annual Mardi Gras celebration just before Lent begins and architecture are what gives New Orleans its unique atmosphere. The French Quarter is the most famous area of New Orleans and where many visitors spend their time. It also provides some free places to explore.

The St. Louis Cathedral is one of these. It has been raised to Basilica status in the Catholic Church. There have been three churches actually built on this site. The first one was in 1718. This church is the oldest continuously run church in the United States. St. Louis Cathedral is in the French Quarter at 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans.

This structure is one of the most recognizable in all of New Orleans. The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1850 because most of the third church that was built there was non- existent. Jackson Square is directly across the street from the St. Louis Cathedral as is the Mississippi River. The structure can be seen often as this area is used for frequent news reporting and political events. On one side of the church is the Cabildo and the Presbytere is on the other. While there is not much of the original Spanish Architecture left from the original designs, the cathedral has survived many hurricanes and a bombing in 1909.

When people visit they can see St. Anthony's Garden and attend Mass. The church has a Saturday Mass at 5:00 pm and two Sunday Masses at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Weekday Mass is scheduled at 7:30 am. The Sacrament of Penance is held on Saturdays from 4:00 to 4:45 pm. St. Louis Cathedral Academy accepts students from pre-k through seventh grade. A gift shop is available for people wishing to buy religious medals, rosaries and other gifts.

When staying in the area there are many hotels located in the French Quarter. The French Quarter Suites Hotel, the Monteleone Hotel and brand name establishments such as the Omni, Loews, Westin and Hilton offer many different styles of accommodations.

The food that New Orleans is famous for includes Creole and Cajun cuisine. The beignets, crawfish, etouffee, jambalaya and gumbo are staples in the diet of the locals and tourists. Pralines are a confection made from sugars, butter, cream and pecans. The cafy au lait complements every meal and is made up of chicory and coffee blended together.

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