Can St. Louis Have 2 Cathedrals?

Locals have ways of finding out if you’re a visitor.   Ruth & I live near Portland, OR.  If you know that Couch Street is pronounced Cooch Street, we know that you are local.  We’re originally from St. Louis.  The word we used to know who was an outsider, believe it or not, was fork.  Every town and city has regional quirks.  In St Louis, for example, there are old and new cathedrals.  The New Cathedral was founded 105 years ago.

The Old Cathedral  was the first Catholic Cathedral west of the Mississippi River.  The King of France for whom St. Louis was named was Louis IX.  He reigned until the year 1270.  St Louis was founded in 1764, so why is this city named for him?   He was known as St. Louis but no one knows if he used a fourchette (fark).  We also know that in 1764 St. Louis was a French settlement begun by 2 French fur traders that was quickly ceded to Spain.  It became a French city again in 1800 and remains so Catholic that it has 2 so-called cathedrals and locals are far more likely to ask you, “what parish do you belong to?” instead of, “Where are you from?”

The Old Cathedral is almost under The Arch.  It is supposed to be known as The Basilica of St. Louis and is the best place to have a wedding.  15,000 couples have been married there.  That’s why Ruth & I made a nostalgic visit to it when we went to see the new Arch museum, which is too much like the old one, recently.  A log building when it was first placed here by the French in 1770, now the basilica is limestone.   It was dedicated in 1834, making it the oldest building in St. Louis in continuous use.  William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame was the Governor of the Missouri Territory until he was voted out of office in the 1st election after Missouri became a state.  He had 5 children.  All 5 were baptized in the Old Cathedral.

The Old Cathedral is not especially beautiful but it is a landmark building.   The New Cathedral with its mosaics is far more grand.  St. Louisans were supposed to stop calling the Old Cathedral a cathedral in 1914, but that never happened.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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