This Historic Church is Worth a Visit!

Nov 26, 2016
central NC

The feeling of peace and tranquility that one experiences upon entering this church is indescribable. It is truly a respite from the busy streets of New Orleans. The Immaculate Conception church, locally known as Jesuit church, is a Roman Catholic church in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana. The church was designed by Fr. John Cambiaso, S.J., and completed in 1857. Sadly it suffered foundation damage in the late 1920s so now a near duplicate of the original 1850s church stands on the same site


In 1837, eight Jesuit priests arrived in New Orleans. They were brought here at the request of Reverend Anthony Blanc, Bishop of New Orleans, for the sake of educating the young men of Louisiana. Thus, the Jesuits started a college at Grand Coteau, which is in southwest Louisiana between Opelousas and Lafayette. Nine years later, the Jesuits from Lyons, France, purchased the plot of land on which the church stands and erected two buildings, which were to serve as a chapel, a residence and a college. The lot on which the church was built was once a water-covered cypress swamp. A natural habitat for alligators, it had to be drained inch-by-inch.


The legal foundation of The College of the Immaculate Conception was in 1847, a church of the same name was established in 1851, and the first mass was offered in that church on August 15, 1857.

The remnants of the 1884 World Cotton Centennial or Louisiana Cotton Exposition Organ are housed within the church. The pipe organ was originally built by Pilcher, and was the biggest pipe organ manufactured by the company. When it was being played inside the fair building, it caused the collapse of the main tent.

@Southern Unionist made more great pictures of this church. Hopefully he'll come along later and share a few.

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Mrs. V

First Sergeant
May 5, 2017
Beautiful. I’d love to sing there, I bet the acoustics are to die for!

Did you know that most pipe organs are designed and built for one building specifically? And to move them to another requires restructuring? I didnt know either, until our pastor wanted to “save” a pipe organ from a parish that was closing, and had to face the fact that we could not afford to install it in our more modern church.

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Mar 7, 2014
Your photos are exceptional and they do their part to show every one of us the beauty of this church. A less talented photographer might have left us with a yawn. I love Roman Catholic churches. It became my denomination by birth and remains my denomination by happy choice. This is a particularly beautiful church.
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Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!