Came to New Orleans to get a taste of antiquity? Then look no further than the Old Ursuline Convent—the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley. But that’s not all – built in 1752, the convent is also a treasure trove of religious antiquity which features, among other religious treasures, the famous Archdiocese archives.
Not just a documentary museum, this ancient antebellum mansion located in New Orleans Garden District also houses some of the best examples of opulent southern décor. Enter via the Chartres Street entrance and be met with the most beautiful manicured garden in New Orleans, while within the mansion, the first thing you’ll notice is a handcrafted cypress staircase followed by some of the most fascinating oil paintings featuring religious motifs. Other rooms tell the various histories of the Old Ursuline Convent—the building was once an orphanage, a makeshift hospital, and even a temporary residence for traveling bishops.
Come visit this amazing example of French colonial architecture (the oldest surviving example in the United States) and see why locals have, for years, called the “Old Ursuline Convent the “treasure of the archdiocese.”
The Old Ursuline Convent is located at 1100 Chartres St. in the French Quarter. It is open Monday through Saturday with tours running from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students with valid ID and is free for children under 6.