Architecture Creative Culture History and Traditions
The original settlement of New Orleans and the oldest neighborhood in the city is Vieux Carre, better known as the French Quarter. Established by the French in 1718, the location continues to be a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River. The district is a National Historic Landmark and is bordered by popular streets, such as Canal, Decatur and Rampart Streets and Esplanade Avenue. The French Quarter boasts cultural contributions from the French, Spanish, Italians, Africans, Irish and others – as demonstrated by the development of New Orleans as a global port.
Architecture is a dominant feature throughout the neighborhood; balconies adorned with intricate ironwork, courtyards filled with lush greenery and beautiful fountains showcase the French Quarter’s European roots, mostly the handiwork of the Spanish who ruled and rebuilt the city after two large fires in 1788 and 1794. Many buildings have ceramic plaques with the street names during Spanish rule.