A trip to New Orleans is not complete without a visit to the city’s famous Jackson Square. Bordered by Chartres Street, St. Ann Street, Decatur Street and St. Peter Street, this historic park was originally known as the Place d’Armes.
The centerpiece of Jackson Square is a statue of its namesake, General Andrew Jackson, who sits in noble grandeur upon his horse. Modeled after the picturesque Place des Vosges in Paris, the square is a tribute to the city’s rich historical heritage. If you look at the buildings that surround Jackson Square, you will see many of New Orleans’ architectural gems. Not only are the buildings beautiful, but many, like the lovely Cabildo, the old city hall, served as a backdrop for significant events in the history of the city, state and country. At the Cabildo, which is now a museum, the final version of the Louisiana Purchase was signed.
Of course the focal point of Jackson Square is the stunning St. Louis Cathedral. The triple steeples that rise above the park have become the hallmark of this the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States. Flanking its neighbors, the Cabildo on the left and the Presbytere on the right, the Cathedral is a popular destination for tourists, the religious, as well as a well-loved spot for weddings.
A pedestrian mall surrounds the square, with an intricate iron fence that artists use to display and sell their masterpieces. Shops on the ground level of the Pontalba Apartments provide ample opportunity for dining, browsing and entertainment.
Jackson Square is a French Quarter landmark. From the lovely towering buildings on one side and the Mississippi on the opposite, this beloved park encompasses all that is New Orleans. For first time visitors and residents alike, this quiet park, with all border streets (except for Decatur Street) closed to vehicular traffic, represents a place to soak in the serenity, history and beauty of New Orleans.