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Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter, has been around since the 1700's when it was originally known as the Place d'Armes. The center of the park showcases a large statue of Andrew Jackson. The square is surrounded by historic buildings including the St. Louis Cathedral, which is a minor Basilica. The old city hall in the square is where the ultimate version of the Louisiana Purchase was signed. The square was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter, contains a church, a seat of government and major stores. Along with all of the other important elements, there is a historic landmark called Washington Artillery Park. It is a raised concrete area creating a great spot to stop and relax while you watch the paddle boats glide down the Mississippi. The mounted canon is a model of the same canon used in the Civil War. This monument honors the local 141st Field Artillery of the Louisiana National Guard that saw action from the Civil War through World War II.
In 1840 plans were put into place to commission a statue of Andrew Jackson for the center of Jackson Square. The bronze statue of General Jackson atop his horse was completed on December 1, 1855, but was not unveiled in New Orleans until February 9, 1856. A crowd of nearly 25,000 people gathered around Jackson Square for the unveiling ceremony. Artist Clark Mills designed the statue at a cost of $30,000. The Louisiana legislature also had allocated $10,000 for the project. Most of the remaining funding for the project is said to have been donated by the Baroness Micaela Almonaster de Pontalba.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park consists of six sites in and around New Orleans. The park honors Cajun culture in general and Jean Lafitte in particular. Lafitte was a notorious pirate and smuggler, who came to the aid of General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The visitor center has historic walking tours of the French Quarter and is a great starting place for information regarding the other sites around New Orleans.
You can find this historical landmark in the middle of the French Quarter on one of the city's busiest streets. 1850 House was designed by the famous James Gallier Sr., whose Gallier House is also a historical landmark. Both the upper and lower areas are an excellent representation of life in New Orleans in the mid-1800s. The interior depicts striking differences between the lifestyles of an upper middle class family and the servants who worked for them. This well-preserved townhouse is one of two historic structures formerly owned by Baroness Micaela Pontalba. There is a gift shop and bookstore on the first floor.
Le Monde Creole is a living history of the Locoul family through five generations. Shrouded by trees and plants, walk around the long courtyards, the patios and witness the journey of the family home through the turbulent times of American history. Pre-arranged tours are available in English and French, just call in advance. You will be taken through the French Quarter, eerie cemeteries and narrow passageways. Smoking is not allowed. Tours generally last for about two hours. Open daily 10.30a onwards.
Royal Street is one of the oldest streets in the city, well known for its businesses that deal in antiques and artwork from all over the world. This impressive street is surrounded by French and Spanish colonial architecture on all sides and emanates a distinct old-worldly look. The shops dotting this street are filled with consumers having an eye for quality, authenticity and detail. The quality of merchandise is unmatched and sometimes, just talking to the shop owners can be an educative experience. Make this street your next shopping destination for all that is antique and unique.
The center of all cultural activities, the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. The city of New Orleans was literally built around the main square of what was then known as the Vieux Carré after the city's founding in 1718. However, most of the area's buildings come from the early 19th Century, when the city was acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Although originally settled by French Creoles, by the early 20th Century they were mostly gone from the French Quarter and bohemian culture began to boom in the area. Today, you will pass architectural delights like Jackson Square and its Saint Louis Cathedral as you saunter down the streets. The French Quarter's single most famous landmark, Bourbon Street, is a nightlife mainstay, being the main drag of Mardi Gras. Replete with rich architectural history and cultural implications, the French quarter is thronged by people of all ages.