No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Even a short trip to see Clark Mills’ equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson is worth the visit. The statue was erected in 1856 in honor of the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and seventh U.S. President for whom the former military parade ground was named. Iron fences, walkways, benches, and Parisian-style landscaping remain intact from the original design by Micaela Almonester in 1851. It is quite impressive.
The square was designed after the famous 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris, France, by the architect and landscape architect Louis H. Pilié. and is roughly the size of a city block. Though it may be small in size, it is huge in history.
For those of you who may not know, Jackson Square was the site where in 1803 Louisiana was made United States territory pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase. Due to it its central role in the city’s history, the Square was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Then in 2012 the American Planning Association designated Jackson Square as one of America’s Great Public Spaces.
From the 1920s through the 1980s the square was famous as a gathering place of painters of widely varying talents, including proficient professionals, talented young art students, amateurs, and caricaturists.
The 1960s and 1970s saw the beginnings of the Square as a place of business for New Age and pagan devotees telling fortunes and reading palms and tarot cards. They sit on St. Ann or St. Peter street, alongside of the park
We spent a lot of time in the area and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of Jackson Square. Not only were we entertained by the street vendors scattered around the square, we also viewed some amazing art work. There were still many people reading palms and tarot cards, but just as many people playing music, doing balloon animals, face painting, ect. They do whatever they can to get your attention and get a tip for their performance or trade. They were not as aggressive as some of them on Bourbon Street which was really nice. We did tip a few that we really enjoyed watching or listening to.
There are so many other things to do in the French Quarter, but I decided to just focus on the area around Jackson Square on this post. Here is a link to their website with more info about the Square itself. Come back soon (hopefully later this week) for other sights and sounds around the French Quarter. Definitely glad to have explored this area on our recent trip. One more informational note, there is not a lot of parking in the area, so taking a bus, trolley, or Uber is the best way to visit the area.
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