Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

A little over a year ago, I visited New Orleans and had a great time exploring the French Quarter.  One of the sites I explored was the Old Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, dating to 1752.

The convent includes a formal garden at the entrance of the building and the original hand-crafted cypress staircase inside.  Behind the main building, there is a peaceful walled courtyard with an herb garden that was planted and is maintained by New Orleans chef Horst Pfeiffer of Bella Luna restaurant.  The building has had many functions over the years: a convent, an orphanage, a makeshift hospital and later a residence hall for local bishops.

In the back garden is a lovely gilded statue of the Virgin and Child.  A bird had built a nest in the Virgin’s crown, and I couldn’t help but snap a photo.  I posted the photo on my Flickr account, and it was recently selected by Schmap to be included in the latest version of their New Orleans guide for iPhones!

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