Sunday, February 17, 2013

St. Mary's at the Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

No matter what one thinks of particular groups or beliefs, it's really worth checking out religious grounds and architecture, particularly if they are cultural manifestations that have lasted for decades, centuries or millennia. I'll pluck one example from New Orleans: the Old Ursuline Convent. The grounds and some of the structures (or parts of them) date back to around 1750. The complex survived fires and other disasters, repurposing within the Catholic Church and changes of outside government and in prevailing attitudes. Now it's a peaceful, contemplative place steeped in culture and urban ecology, housing archives, various artifacts and a nice little gift shop.

Pictured* above: inside what is now called St. Mary's (an offshoot of the Old Ursuline Convent commplex), looking up at the ceiling tapestry afixed high above the altar. Along the arch and inscribed in Roman letters:


Images of the Old Ursuline Convent grounds (and interiors) are plentiful. A good sample can be found on Wikimedia Commons via this link:,_French_Quarter 

I've never once checked out ancient grounds and places such as this that I didn't find fascinating and peaceful, regardless of religious or secular origin.

Is there anything like this within easy reach of you?

Today's Rune: Signals.  *For the record, I took this particular photo.


the walking man said...

Well that is pretty cool but how does it compare to the old Packard plant?

Charles Gramlich said...

This one is within easy reach of me. I've been there, and to the Notre Dame seminary. Some lovely things there, lovely grounds and buildings. Religious expression has created some truly lovely architecture.