New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans
Panorama of historic Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans. Photo Creative Commons License Anthony Posey.

New Orleans is one of the most historic and atmospheric cities in America, with a rich history and vibrant culture influenced by French, Caribbean and African cultures. The city has a long way to go before it fully recovers from the devastation and tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, which left 80% of the city underwater. Fortunately, at least, the most historic areas of New Orleans - the French Quarter and Garden District - did not flood at all. Of course, New Orleans is much more than these popular neighborhoods, but what the average visitor imagines when they think of New Orleans remains the same. For travelers interested in spiritual sites, New Orleans certainly has plenty to offer. The city's unique and lively culture is reflected in its rich variety of religious places, ranging from historic French churches to voodoo temples.

Voodoo Spiritual Temple
Led by Priestess Miriam, this active Voodoo temple is a more authentic experience among the touristy voodoo shops around New Orleans. Inquisitive and respectful visitors are welcome.
Old Ursuline Convent
Built in 1752, the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans is the only remaining French-colonial building in the United States.
Historic Voodoo Museum
Geared towards tourists but run by Voodoo devotees, the Historic Voodoo Museum consists of two dark and musty rooms strewn with Voodoo artifacts.
St. Louis Cathedral
Rebuilt in 1794, this is the oldest active cathedral in the United States. The center of the original settlement of New Orleans, it is still a prominent landmark in the French Quarter.