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Jackson Square

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Jackson Square early in the morning to avoid the crowds and take in the tranquil atmosphere with the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral as your backdrop. Also, many local artists hang their work on the surrounding fences, so if you're looking for a unique piece to take home, visiting in the morning gives you the first pick of the day's offerings."

What is Jackson Square?

Jackson Square is the historic heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It's an iconic park that serves as a cultural epicenter and a favored gathering spot for artists, musicians, and street performers. Encircled by timeless architecture, including the stunning backdrop of St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square invites locals and visitors alike to soak in the ambiance that is quintessentially New Orleans.

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I often stroll through the iron-laced gates myself, always finding something new—a testament to the Square's ever-evolving charm. It's not just a scenic retreat but a living, breathing piece of history, vibrant with the sounds of jazz and the scents of beignets in the air.

History of Jackson Square

The origins of Jackson Square stretch back to the early 18th century when it was originally designed as the Place d'Armes, a central square within the grid of New Orleans. It served as an open-air market and a military parade ground before it evolved into the stately landmark it is today. Renamed in honor of Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, it features a prominent equestrian statue of him, a symbol of the city's resilience since 1856.

Not many people know that beneath the surface of Jackson Square lies a rich archeological tapestry, with artifacts dating back to the colonial era. These remnants tell stories of everyday life long before any of us walked these cobblestone paths, a link to the generations who have shaped this city's destiny.

Why is Jackson Square Important?

Jackson Square stands as a monumental pillar of New Orleans' heritage and cultural identity. It's an enduring symbol of the city's colonial past and a focal point for its social and artistic scenes. Whether it's watching an impassioned performance by a jazz quartet under the shade of the age-old oak trees or partaking in one of the many festivals that take root in this space, the Square is a place where history is not just remembered but vividly lived.

Beyond its social significance, Jackson Square has been the backdrop for pivotal historical events, including the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in 1803. This alone sets the stage for our deeper appreciation of how crucial this piece of land is not just for New Orleans but for the entire country. As New Orleanians, we take pride in the Square for giving us a sense of place, a convergence of the past, present, and future.

Things to Do & See at Jackson Square

Embark on a journey through Jackson Square, and you'll quickly understand why just wandering through this captivating space is an attraction in itself. To begin, the open-air artist colony, with painters and sketch artists displaying their mesmerizing works, provides an inspirational feast for the eyes.

Step into the historic Cabildo and The Presbytère museums flanking the cathedral to quench a thirst for knowledge with exhibitions that delve deep into New Orleans' storied past. And let's not forget the street performers, who can transform a casual stroll into an unforgettable experience with their music and theatrical displays—each performance echoing the Square's lively spirit.

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And then, there are the carriage tours that clip-clop their way around the Square, offering a slow-motion view of this bustling vista. Look around at the intricate ironwork balconies and lush courtyards, or simply sit on a bench, savor a warm beignet from a nearby café, and let the Square reveal its stories to you, layer by layer.

Frequently asked questions

What is Jackson Square?

Jackson Square is an iconic park located in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, known for its rich history, vibrant street performances, and as a gathering place for artists and musicians.

Can I take a guided tour of Jackson Square?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history of Jackson Square and the surrounding areas in New Orleans.

Are there any entrance fees to visit Jackson Square?

No, Jackson Square is a public park and is open to everyone without any entrance fees.

What are some notable landmarks around Jackson Square?

Notable landmarks around Jackson Square include the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère, and the historic buildings known as the Pontalba Apartments.

What is the best time to visit Jackson Square?

The best time to visit Jackson Square is during the daytime when you can enjoy the art displays and street performances, although the square is open 24 hours a day.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps