Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heraldic New Orleans

When we talk about New Orleans first thing that comes to mind is Mardi Gras. But if you avoid the tacky Bourbon Street, New Orleans is a beautiful city and window to the European past in America.

Louisiana was historically claimed by Spain but France established most of the colonist during the 1700s, giving it a distinctive French flavor.

But after the Seven Years War Spanish regained control of the province (from 1762 to 1803) and New Orleans was the main city of this territory and its port the key to control the Mississippi River.

The French recovered Louisiana in 1803 from the Spanish but because of the ongoing Napoleonic wars in Europe did not have the resources to maintain the colonies in America. That is why they decided to sell it to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase was by far the largest territorial gain in U.S. history, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.

Today some pictures from New Orleans:

This is the Coat of Arms for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The see is at St Louis Cathedral. The original church was built in 1727 but the current building was finalized in the XIX century.

The church faces Jackson Square, that follows the traditional set-up for a Spanish colonial “plaza de armas” with the Cabildo next to the main Church.

We see the lesser or abbreviated coat of arms of the Spanish Monarch (1700-1868) in a vitreaux in New Orleans. The American artist even intended a representation of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

To wrap-up I include a picture of a Crusader knight located in a neighboring hotel. This knight seems to have lost some of his armor, may be in a battle, check his abs ;-)