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Jackson Square, The Center of The French Quarter, Day 142

Today we headed to one of New Orleans’ most recognizable landmarks, Jackson Square.

This National Historic Landmark is nestled in the center of the French Quarter.

Early French colonial New Orleans was centered on what was then called the Place d’Armes (“weapons’ square”). Under Spanish colonial administration in the late 18th century, the name was Plaza D Armas. 

Jackson Square
Jackson Square once was under Spanish rule and was named Plaza D Armas.

Then, in 1803, this is the place where Louisiana was made a United States territory pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase.

However, this area remained an active military plaza. Following the 1815 Battle of New Orleans it was renamed Jackson Square, for the battle’s victorious General Jackson.

And in the center of the square there is a bronze statue of Andrew Jackson mounted on his horse that has been standing since 1856.

jackson square
In the center of Jackson Square is a statue of Andrew Jackson riding his horse.

But that isn’t all that is interesting about the Jackson Square. On the north side of the square are three 18th-century historic buildings.

Jackson Square’s Buildings

The center of the three is St. Louis Cathedral. The cathedral was designated as a minor Basilica by Pope Paul VI. In fact, it is the oldest, active cathedral in the United States.

To its left is the Cabildo, which once was the city hall. In fact, it was where the final version of the Louisiana Purchase was signed and it is now a museum.

On the cathedral’s right is the Presbytère, built to match the Cabildo. Although it was initially planned for housing the city’s Roman Catholic priests and other church officials, that didn’t last forever.

inside st. louis cathedral
A peek inside Saint Louis Cathedral – the oldest Cathedral in the United States.

The first transition was to make the building a courthouse at the start of the 19th century, and then, in the 20th century, it became a museum.

On the other two sides of the square are the Pontalba Buildings. They are matching red-brick, block-long, 4 story buildings built in the 1840s.

The ground floors house shops and restaurants. However, the upper floors are apartments and are the oldest continuously rented apartments in North America.

Artist and Other Talents

art on Jackson Square
Artists display there work among the sidewalk and along the iron fence around Jackson Square.

However if you look all around, you will find something even more unique about Jackson Square. It is also the location of an open-air artist colony.

This is where artists display their work on the outside of the iron fence. You can purchase many of the items or have one custom made for you.

But you can also find several other individuals that sell their talent. From tarot card and palm readers, to musicians and magicians, you can find it all here.

If art isn’t your thing, there are several other entertainers to keep you busy.

And the next time you are watching a movie or a crime scene show, you might just catch a glimpse Jackson Square in the background. It has served as a backdrop in a number of popular feature films and television shows.

Happy Traveling! Jim and Mary


  • Day 142 of 365
  • States : 18/50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 20
  • Stayed In : Livingston, Louisiana
  • Miles Driven : 130.7
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 15,926.9
  • Total Gallons Used : 1,154.12
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 158.4
  • Hiking Miles : 3.6
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 316.6

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

Follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

Deb Russell

Sunday 2nd of February 2020

It was so great to meet you and share some stories while listening to Steamboat Willie. If you are ever in Manitoba, stop in Carman and ask for Blair or Deb Russell (It's a small town) We'd love to host you. I tried to send you the picture I took of you two but it would not accept it. Let me know if there is a place I can send it.


Sunday 2nd of February 2020

Deb - We loved meeting you all - What a great evening it was! You can send the photo to -we would love to see it! Thanks so much, Jim and Mary