Explore the multifaceted histories of the Roman Catholic Church and New Orleans by visiting three New Orleans church sanctuaries and checking out the stained glass from inside, where the beauty of the windows is best experienced with outside light shining through.
The Stained Glass Art in Sacred Places tour, sponsored by the Preservation Resource Center in New Orleans, was in Baton Rouge for the first time in February but is back in the Crescent City for a fall tour.
The tour, planned by the center’s Stained Glass Art in Sacred Places Committee, is Oct. 14. The bus will leave Immaculate Conception Church, 130 Baronne St., at 2 p.m. and the tour and reception will end there by 5 p.m.
The featured churches:
- Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church was designed by the Rev. John Cambiaso to emulate the Moorish churches he came to love in Europe and Africa. The Jesuit order in Louisiana laid the foundation for the church in 1851. The Eugene Hucher studio of Carmel du Mans, France, created the oldest windows, which feature the Jesuit martyrs. The Franz Mayer Stained Glass Art Studio of Munich created the later windows, and some American windows can be seen as well.
- The Sisters of St. Clare Monastery at Henry Clay Avenue and Magazine Street, a treasured Uptown landmark, marks its 100th birthday this year. The stained-glass windows were created in 1913 by the Emil Frei Studio in St. Louis and portray 12 historic saints, representing all three orders of the Franciscans.
- St. Francis of Assisi Church is Uptown on State Street. Although ground was broken for the current structure in 1914, World War I delayed progress until 1918, and it wasn’t dedicated until 1921. The church installed stained-glass windows created by the Emil Frei Company’s Munich studio in 1922 and 1923. Most depict the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
The cost of the tour is $16 for center members, $20 for nonmembers and $25 on the day of tour. Contact the center at (504) 581-7032 to reserve a place on the bus. Organizers recommend bringing binoculars to better see the windows at Immaculate Conception.
The Preservation Resource Center was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit organization to promote the preservation, restoration and revitalization of New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods and has held a stained-glass tour since 1989.