Fire, flood and time have all tested the great walls of New Orleans, the Cabildo. The building, which once was the hub of the city’s government is still standing, a glorious sight to behold.
Located at 701 Chartres Street, along Jackson Square and the left of St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo is no longer used by local government, but is now the home of the Louisiana State Museum. Stepping into the halls of the Cabildo will transport you back in time and you’ll imagine what it was like to walk the halls of the Cabildo, when it was home to the Spanish municipal government. You’ll walk the grounds where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803 and see the main hall that was once used as a courtroom.
Like the city of New Orleans itself, the Cabildo has withstood the test of time, including being destroyed in 1788 by the Great New Orleans Fire, rebuilt and then again damaged by fire in 1988 when the entire third floor was destroyed. Six years after the 1988 fire, the Cabildo reopened only to again weather Mother Nature during Hurricane Katrina. Luckily, the building was left relatively unharmed by the storm.
In 1960, the Cabildo was declared a National Historic Landmark, where it now houses some of the best artifacts from around the time of the Louisiana Purchase. It’s a place where you’ll find history and a sense of resilience; a site that epitomizes the spirit of the city of New Orleans and its citizens.
When you walk through the hallowed halls of the Cabildo, you can almost hear the voices of lawmakers from the past. Many of the laws made within the walls of the Cabildo still govern New Orleans today and its sense of importance and history live on.