Old Ursuline Convent Museum

We are excited to present our new exhibit,

Praying for a Miracle, the Catholic Church and the Battle of New Orleans

This exhibit will run from October 11, 2014 - Memorial Day 2015.

The museum is opened for self-guided tours Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm. The last admission is at 3:30pm. For large group tours, please contact Rosalie Serio  at 504-529-3040 x223

1112 Chartres Street (at the corner of Chartres and Ursulines) in the Historic French Quarter

 

Welcome

The Old Ursuline Convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley. Constructed by French Colonial Engineers under the auspices of the crown, the convent was designed in 1745 and completed in 1752-1753. Over the centuries, this building has been a convent for the Ursuline nuns, a school, an archbishop's residence, the archdiocesan central office, a meeting place for the Louisiana Legislature. Later, it served as a residence for priests serving mainly the Italian community and then housed the Archdiocesan Archives. Today, together with the St. Louis Cathedral and St. Mary's Church, it forms the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Architecture

The Old Ursuline Convent’s facade is simple, with twelve bays, two floors and an attic level made of three dormers. The structure uses brick-between-post construction covered by a white plaster, simulating stone on the corners and central bay. The doors and windows use simple molding while a pediment underscores the main entrance. Having many doors and windows available and across from each other is a feature that was developed specifically for this climate as a way to battle the oppressive heat and humidity. Placing the doors and windows parallel creates a cross ventilation, forcing warm interior air out and cool outside air in.

According to the National Parks Service, “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”. (October 9, 1960, designation of the convent as a National Historic Landmark)

Hours and Visitor Information

The museum is opened for self-guided tours Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm. The last admission is at 3:30pm. For large group tours, please contact Rosalie Serio  at 504-529-3040 x223

1112 Chartres Street (at the corner of Chartres and Ursulines) in the Historic French Quarter