A year ago, my wife and I traveled to New Orleans and we had the opportunity to see the Joan of Arc monument on Decatur Street. There are some interesting features of the monument including two cannons.
France erected the statue in 1972 as a gift to New Orleans, whose namesake, Orléans, was one of the towns Joan of Arc (1412-1431) defended from the English during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). In the city’s defense, she was overwhelmingly successful, but her exploits did not stop there. In just over a year, this teenager led troops in 13 different battles and sieges, and captured more than 30 cities. For more information, check out Joan of Arc’s Military Successes and Failures.
The statue displays Joan in a determined, victorious pose, carrying her custom-made banner, which depicted God holding the world with two angles. In addition, there were the words “Jesus Maria.”
In front of her are two cannons. The common images of Joan are either a peasant praying or an armored woman on horseback sometimes surrounded by medieval knights. Movies add credence to this notion. Viewers see swords, axes, crossbows, and trebuchets. Yet, Joan’s primary weapon was the cannon. The New Orleans monument gets it right.
Below, you can see the cannons along with my lovely wife, Dawn.
Here is another angle, showing the view of the cannons pointing down Decatur Street.
The plaques list some major cities relevant to Joan’s life and campaigns. Lorraine was the region where Joan was born and raised. Orléans was the first conflict that Joan participated.
In one of Joan’s campaigns, she led the French army into English-controlled territory and captured Reims. This city was important, as the French people believed that the king of France could only rightfully receive his crown there. After capturing the city, the French officially crowned Charles VII (r. 1422-1461), whose coronation was seven years due. After the capture of Joan, the English imprisoned and eventually executed her in Rouen (1431).
The base of the statue had some wear, but the message was still legible.
The important part of the monument looked good though.