Thursday, June 17, 2010

StayCation the Lou--St Ferdinands

This week's StayCation destination is to the lovely French city of Florissant, MO.  Founded in the 1700s by the French as the village of Fleurissant it was later called St Ferdinand by the Spanish.  This church called St Ferdinands was built in 1821 to replace a small log church.

The cornstone of this church was a gift from Mother Philippine Rose Duchesne. She established the first school in the area.  The nuns of the Sacred Heart taught Native American children and the children of the pioneer settlers of the area.

 The building on the left is the school.  It is still rented out of banquets and things today.
 This is a statue to Mother Rose Philippine Duschne.  She was canonized in 1988.  So today she is called St Rose Philippine Duschne. She lived and taught here1819-1827 and again 1834-1840.
 I believe this is the rectory since it was attached to the church.
 The steeple can be seen from quite a distance.  It must have been quite a sight in 1821.
 This is a statue of St Ferdinand.  I am thinking that he was a Spanish king who was named a saint, but I am not sure.  The church and gift shop weren't open.  Tours only cost $2, but they need to bee arranged for in advance.  The shrine is open during the festival in May and I may have to go see it one of these days.  The gift shop is open only on Saturday mornings.

This is a fairly minor tourist attraction.  It has the advantages of being in a beautiful park with lots of running room for the kids.  It is cheap.  But, since tours must be arranged in advance it isn't a place to see on the spur of the moment.  The area of Florissant around the shrine contains houses that were from the original French village.  There are walking tours of those houses (not to go in, but to walk past them).  There are some neat little restaurants that are not part of chains and some antique shops in the area.


Tami said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A picnic lunch in the garden would be lovely.

Mary said...

I have worked within a half mile of St. Ferdinands for 16 years and eaten at the restaurants. In all that time I had never driven in to see the church. Now I really want to go inside when it is open sometime.

abroadermark said...

I love, love, LOVE old churches! Wish I could have gone on your staycation with you. Maybe I'll come along when you finally get to tour the inside. I'll bring my ukulele along, and do a little show in the garden afterwards. Can I borrow one of your muumuus?

Mary said...

It's a little hot in the Lou for that. It would be fun though to do that in the spring or fall. I guess I will have to Tuesday Treasures or Monday Memories my muumuus. LOL Life is just a blog.

abroadermark said...

Row, row, row your boat
gently through the fog.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
life is but a blog. :D