Louisiana has a rich cultural history and a strong Catholic influence which, when mixed together, creates some of the most awe-inspiring and iconic churches in the United States. As the Catholic faith was carried over by both the French and Spanish colonists, small parishes all over the state built cathedrals and places of worship that are still in use today. Standing tall throughout the American Civil War, floods, fires, and hurricanes, these are some of the most beautiful churches still standing in Louisiana.
On the north side of Opelousas lies an impressive Catholic church made of brick and stained glass windows. Several churches have been built on these grounds over the years, with the most recent being constructed in 1909 even though smaller churches have brought members together since 1798. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and is one of the largest parishes in the South. This Romanesque Revival church can hold over 2,000 people and is a popular wedding venue.
Standing out in the Shreveport skyline, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church was built in 1896 and has remained an important piece of history in Louisiana. The impressive dual side altars that make this church so iconic weren’t added until later as they were saved from the former chapel of St. Vincent Academy. While the exterior is impressive on its own, the interior of the church is even more awe-inspiring. The main altar is a Romanesque marble piece imported from Italy and there are over 60 stained glass windows in the church.
As the spiritual heart of Baton Rouge, the St. Joseph Cathedral has been integral to the city ever since its founding in 1792. However, the church you see today is quite different from what stood on the grounds 200 years ago. In 1891 the magnificent steeple was added and four years later the clock was finished. As the parish started to grow, the members needed more area and the church eventually grew to be twice its original size and added several stained glass art pieces to the building.
New Orleans has several notable landmarks, but one of the most distinguishable is the St. Louis Cathedral overlooking Jackson Square. This larger than life church is the oldest continually-used Catholic cathedral in the United States. Surviving wars, fires, bombs, and hurricanes, this beauty has been standing tall since 1789 and continues to attract millions of visitors each year.
Constructed in 1817, the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral is the longest standing building in Alexandria. This red brick church was the only building to be spared in Alexandria during the Civil War. The Gothic revival belltower is one of the most iconic points on the Alexandria skyline and the clock differentiates this church from so many others in the state.
Plan a visit during Mass, take a tour, or plan your dream wedding at one of these monuments of Louisiana history. All of these churches welcome visitors and love to share little tidbits about the rich history surrounding each of these unique places of worship.
Learn about Louisiana’s rich cultural history and book a stay at one of the Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association’s many charming properties located all throughout the region!