New Orleans Facts

Ron Bryant

1716-1722 the founding of New Orleans .

New Orleans was originally referred to by the French as the “Isle d'Orleans”.

1718 New Orleans was decreed a city at it's founding by Bienville. New Orleans was named for the regent of France , Philippe III Duc d'Orleans. New Orleans was laid out by a French engineer Adrein de Pauge. It was laid out as a classic eighteenth century symmetrical gridiron pattern with a central square ( Jackson Square ).

1762 – 1763 - The French Colony ( New Orleans ) was transferred to the Spanish and was ruled by the “Bourbons” of Spain .

1800 - Spain ceded it back to France .

1803 - New Orleans , along with the entire Louisiana Purchase , was sold by Napolean I to the United States . Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase and pulled off one of the great real estate buys in history.

1815 - New Orleans was the site of the Battle of New Orleans in the war of 1812.

1862 - On April 25, 1862 New Orleans was besieged by Union ships under Admiral Farragut and fell to the Union .

New Orleans is in the Southern part of Louisiana located on the Mississippi River . It was built on a great turn of the river that resembles a crescent; therefore it is known as the Crescent City . New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana and is one of the principal cities of the South. It is one of the world's largest ports. Mardi Gras is the most important annual tourist event. New Orleans hosted the Worlds Fair in 1984.

Vieux Carre (French Quarter)

The French Quarter or Vieux Carre (French for “ Old Square ”) is the site of the original city and contains many historic and architecturally significant buildings for which New Orleans is famous. The French Quarter is one of the highest ground areas of New Orleans . New Orleans is similar to a shallow bowl with the center below sea level. The French Quarter is on the higher edge of the bowl. Water is kept out by using levees and water pumps. The French Quarter contains many very old cemeteries that all have tombs, some very elaborate, that are constructed above the ground due to the fact that the land is below sea level.

St. Louis Cathedral

The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest Cathedral in the United States .

1727 - The French built the first St. Louis Cathedral following the town plan.

1788 - The Cathedral was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1788 during the Spanish period. This fire destroyed four fifths of New Orleans . The Cathedral was built a second time and its architecture was Spanish.

1793 - The Cathedral received its first bishop.

1794 - The Cathedral barely escaped yet another general fire.

1849 - The Cathedral that is standing today rose using a few bricks and lines of mortar from the old church. It was built from plans drawn by a French - born architect Jacques N.B. de Pouilly in 1849.

Today the church contains the remains of eight New Orleans bishops. The Cathedral stands as a symbol of New Orleans , and it is a tribute to the clergy and all the people of New Orleans , who have preserved it.

Pirates Alley

Pirates Alley is one block long. It was originally named Orleans Alley but locals have always called it Pirates Alley. The St. Louis Cathedral is to the right of the alley, and on the left is the Cabildo (The old spanish Governor's mansion) and directly behind the Cabildo was the Spanish Jail.

624 Pirates Alley is the house that the famous author William Faulkner lived in 1925, while writing his first novel - Soldier's Pay, and it is now known as the Faulkner House, a national literary landmark.

Jackson Square

Jackson Square was known originally as the plaza deArmes. It has been used at times as military parade grounds and a market place for fish, fowl and produce.

The Square faces the Mississippi River and is bounded by the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbyterian on Chartres Street and is flanked by the Pontalba Apartments along the St. Peter and St. Ann Streets.

Inside the square is a statue of its namesake Andrew Jackson, who was the hero the battle of New Orleans .

Surrounding the square is a pedestrian walk and an iron fence that has been used for decades by artists working and displaying their art work.

Aquarium of Americas

The Aquarium of America is located on the Mississippi River just outside of the French Quarter in New Orleans . It is a top 5 rated aquarium where visitors can get a closer look at more than 7,000 fish and other marine life.

The aquarium features a tunnel made of see-through acrylic that brings visitors into the aquatic action of the Caribbean Reef exhibit. It is somewhat like a gold fish bowl reversed with jumbo stingrays, jellyfish, sharks and other sea creatures swimming overhead.

There is a Gulf of Mexico showcase complete with oil rig features and various species of fish. There are white alligators and sea turtles, sea otters and plenty of land-dwelling birds and reptiles. The aquarium features hourly stage shows and has a very unique setting for the petting of fish and 300 other deep sea creatures.