The French Quarter (Part 1)

November 7, 2016   |   0 Comments |  

french-quarter-building

New Orleans’ French Quarter is one of Louisiana’s most sought after destinations.    It mixes the old with new in a seamless way that leaves locals and visitors intrigued.  While it has jumped head first in modern times, it still holds on tight to its roots and its unbelievable history.  New buildings sit near some of the oldest buildings in America and they all just seem to fit.  With shops and restaurant as far as the eye can see and a nightlife beyond anyone’s wildest dreams it is a tourists’ play land.  Looking at the bustling area now it is hard to imagine that it was once just deserted land along a river. 

That all changed when Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville found a piece of land along the Mississippi River and decided to settle the area which is now known as the French Quarter.  Once upon a time the entire city of New Orleans was made up of the 13 city blocks that make up the world-renowned French Quarter.  Even today it feels like an entire world is inside of 13 blocks.

Named because it was the original French settlement, the French Quarter is the highest point in New Orleans sitting 2 feet above sea level.  Once it was known as high ground and a safe place to evacuate to.  The buildings are also structured to protect each other from the forces of hurricanes.  Yet, hurricanes were not the only things the buildings protected against.  All the structures in the area are built up to the sidewalk with courtyards in the back.  They were built that way to protect against invasion.  Woman and children were sent to the courtyards, while men were on rooftops, balconies and windows, armed and ready to protect.

During its 300 years, the French Quarter has seen four flags flown over her.  The French flag from 1718 until it was sold to Spain in 1762.    The Spanish flag flew for 40 years until New Orleans was again under French control in 1802.  The French sold New Orleans for the last time on December 20, 1803 when it was sold to the United States.  The United States flag would be the flag flown over New Orleans from that point on, except for a period during the civil war when the flag of the Confederate States of America made her mark.

Because of the cities rich history and culture there is so much to see and learn here about those that came before us.  In three hundred years, a lot of stories, legends and history can be made.  Join us again to learn more about this unique culture and great city we call home.  If you are ever in our area let one of our experienced tour guides, knowledgeable in all things New Orleans, take you on an adventure of a life time – First stop the French Quarter!!

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