Friday, April 15, 2011

St. Bernard

Located between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, just off I-10, is the town of Breaux Bridge. We've made a number of trips to this town with a population of about 8,000 to hear Cajun music.

On our walks around the section of town by one of the town's popular music venue, Cafe des Amis, we get the impression that the town has a sense of humor in addition to a love of Cajun and Zydeco music--and dancing.

Outside the former Kidder Building, built in 1909, we found these metal trucks and animals (above and below). The store, now called Le Napolean, was originally intended as a saloon. It has served as a cock fight arena and a WWII dance hall; it has housed many businesses including a health center, a Karate school, a gift shop and a clothing store.

Next to the toys was this row of chairs, which seemed to be waiting for just the right audience. Possibly just sitting here and reading the Breaux Bridge phone book would be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

According to the Chamber of Commerce's webpage: "Breaux Bridge has the Cajun version of southern hospitality--friendliness that you've got to experience to believe.... Breaux Bridge's phone book is one of the few in the country that still lists nicknames as well as birthnames. Nowhere else can you find names like "T-Jun," "Tootsie," "Peewee," or "Coot."

In the next block was the St. Bernard Catholic Church. The original church was built in 1857.

Construction began on this twin-steepled, French-Roman architecturally styled building in 1933 and was completed in 1934.

Artifacts from the previous church were moved in and materials used in the construction came from the Breaux Bridge area, including the exterior bricks, which were made by a former brick company in Breaux Bridge. Many of the local craftsmen participated in the construction of the church.

This cemetery has many above ground tombs, dating back to the mid-1800's. Prior to this time, families buried their dead on family properties.

Sunlight filled the church and created a serene setting while we took these photo-graphs.

The architec-tural details were quite impressive, while the altar and interior were beautifully simplistic.

After an evening of music, we enjoyed the calming orange glow resulting from the lights upon the church.

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