Old Ursuline Convent
Today, the convent is preserved as a museum and open to the public for self-guided tours. A meticulously landscaped garden greets visitors to the French Colonial mansion, which houses original features like a handcrafted cypress staircase, religious paintings, and the archdiocese archives. An ornate chapel adorned with frescoes and stained glass provides space for worship and prayer.
Many legends swirl around the former inhabitants of the convent, making it a popular stop on haunted history tours. These ghost tours usually only stop outside the convent gates.
Things to know before you go
- Permanent and rotating exhibits tell the history of the convent and related topics.
- The convent holds religious significance for local Catholics, so be respectful of this sacred space.
- Purchase tickets at the museum gift shop, which also offers postcards and religious souvenirs.
How to get there
The Old Ursuline Convent is located at 1100 Chartres St. in the French Quarter, within easy walking distance of many other French Quarter attractions. The Riverfront streetcar stops a block away at the Ursuline's Station.
When to get there
The convent is open year-round. It is recommended to check in advance before visiting for up-to-date opening hours as it may be closed on certain days of the week—such as Sundays.
Catholic New Orleans
Catholicism runs deep in New Orleans, with an archdiocese more than 300 years old that carried over from colonial France. It is the city’s predominant religion today, reflected in the legendary Mardi Gras celebration that’s based around the Lenten season. In addition to the Old Ursuline Convent, other sites that may be of interest to Catholic visitors are St. Louis Cathedral, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, and St. Augustine Church.