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Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

(4.2/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web)
Ursuline Convent was a series of historic Ursuline convents in New Orleans, Louisiana.The first buildingThe first building for the Ursuline nuns in New Orleans was designed by Ignace Fran├žois Broutin in 1727 when the nuns arrived in New Orleans. Michael Zeringue was the builder. Planning, collecting material, and construction took years. Existing drawings show the building in 1733, although it was not officially finished until the following year.Colombage (half-timbered) or briquette-entre-poteaux (brick-between-post) was the major form of French Colonial construction in the colony during the 18th century (see also Pitot House). Usually the exterior walls were then given a protective covering of stucco or wooden boards; but the fact that the timbered walls of the Ursuline Convent were left exposed is confirmed by a drawing from 1737. Such construction proved to be inappropriate for the humid climate of New Orleans (with significant deterioration already apparent by 1745), in addition to being a fire hazard.The historic second buildingIn 1745 plans for a new building of brick and protected colombage were prepared by Ignace Broutin. The contractor was Claude Joseph Villars Dubreuil, Contractor of Public Works for the King. His wife, Marie Payen de Noyan, was Bienville's sister. This structure was completed in 1751. It is likely that Alexandre de Batz also took part in the design because several payments are listed to him for work on the new building. The new building was laid out adjacent to the site of the older structure, and some materials from the older building were used in the construction of the newer one.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We tried 3 times to get in here and finally on the 3rd try we hit a day they are open. Winter and holiday hours apparently vary. Any way, we were thrilled with the beauty and history of this place . T...  more »
  • The convent certainly has an interesting history and the gardens are pretty, but there is not enough here to justify the $8 admission price. You see the first floor of the former convent building, whi...  more »
  • It is truly amazing that there were such dedicated and fearless women such as these. To see what they lived through, accepted as their life and served their fellow humans, is to leave you in awe of th...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful old building. Very peaceful and soothing inside the chapel. Lovely old statues and gorgeous winding staircase ornately detailed. Lots of historical information on the convent in various rooms. Curious attic with the shutters nailed shut.... Vampire folklore.... Not part of the tour but very creepy to look at from the outside nonetheless. Would definitely recommend to others. 8.00 per person.... Absolutely worth it.
  • Cool museum, worth going and hearing a bit about the history of the city
  • Beautiful historic building. We were on a ghost tour and this was one of the stops.
  • We came upon the convent quite unexpectedly while walking around one afternoon. What a lovely surprise when we stepped through the gate to the inner courtyard! The birds were singing and it was surprisingly beautiful and peaceful. The chapel was stunning in it's beauty! Comparable to churches in Italy. What a wonderful find this is. I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking a respite from the city!
  • Oldest building in the city. Peaceful self guided tour