This Is The Oldest Place You Can Possibly Go In New Orleans And Its History Will Fascinate You
It’s no secret that New Orleans is steeped in history. The French Quarter is full of historic buildings with jaw-dropping architecture and fascinating histories. While we are lucky to have some incredible structures still standing, like the famous Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, built in 1722, or the Old Ursuline Convent (1745), or St. Louis Cathedral (original was built in 1718 but the church seen today was built in 1789). There’s one place that’s the oldest in the city and you should certainly check it out. Let’s take a closer look.
Nestled in the French Quarter, Jackson Square is a historic little park about one city block wide with a fascinating history.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. What was once a trading camp for the French to exchange goods has become one of the most iconic locations in New Orleans.
In 1721, French landscape architect Louis H. Pilie was tasked with designing the layout.
He drew inspiration from one of the oldest squares in Paris, the Place des Vosges.
Since the square originally overlooked the Mississippi River across Decatur Street, the square became a focal point for shipping, commerce, and basically the hub for everyday live in New Orleans.
Fun Fact: The Louisiana Purchase was signed at the square in 1803.
Originally known as the Place d’Armes, or Plaza de Armas as the Spanish called it, the square was well known for public executions during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Following the 1811 German Coast Uprising, the largest slave revolt in the country, three slaves were hanged and their heads were placed on the city gates.
In 1845, Place d’Armes was renamed Jackson Square to honor Andrew Jackson.
A hero of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, Jackson’s victory over the British gained him national notoriety and made him a New Orleans hero.
Today, Jackson Square is a popular gathering spot for artists, musicians, and fortune tellers and the like to come and showcase their talents.
You can always find something going on at the square.
The square is surrounded by several historic buildings, including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere, and the Cabildo just to name a few.
Not to mention several shopping opportunities and delicious meals from the many restaurants in the area.
Next time you find yourself in the area, take a stroll through the park.
Sit and relax on one of the many benches and enjoy the scenery--it's quite the lovely spot!
Want to learn more about New Orleans history? Check out our previous articles about the
French Market or Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar.
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