It rises between the Mississippi River Delta and Lake Pontchartrain. Its economic importance is given by the location in a point of convergence of railway lines, of important roads. New Orleans is also an important commercial port that communicates with much of the US navigation system, called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The city has a modern and well-equipped port through which millions of tons of goods pass every year, especially cotton, oil, iron, timber and minerals. The industrial fabric is highly developed and consists of food, chemical, naval, wood, paper, textile and mechanical companies. There are numerous oil and natural gas refineries. In the eyes of Louisiana people, New Orleans is the symbol of all entertainment.
WHAT TO SEE – The city as a whole is typically American. Beyond the beauty of certain residential neighborhoods, the splendor of the ancient residences, the luxury of the Garden District, the most attractive point of New Orleans remains the Old Quarter (or French Quarter), whose atmosphere is a reminder of the historical origins of the city.
Tourists flock to Bourbon Street, empty of locals when night falls, they don’t come to that street to save their souls (Bourbon Street, not Basin Street is the temple of sin). During the hot summer nights, the shows that take place in the clubs barely hide their secrets: behind open doors, the strip-tease clubs let out music that mingles with the rhythms of the jazz orchestras of the nearby night-clubs. Then there are clubs of all kinds, with peep shows, topless dancers, striptease, transvestite and gay shows. During Mardi Gras, sidewalks and balconies are filled with people partying and drinking.
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True connoisseurs despise these clubs and head to Preservation Hall, where they discover authentic Dixieland jazz, which exploded at the turn of the century. By day the flower gardens are very romantic and in the streets of the Old Quarter the residences with balconies reveal the details of their Spanish-inspired architecture. Tourists stroll in the sun, linger in the shops and art galleries of Bourbon Street, Royal Street, the Avenue of the Pirates, or let themselves be driven in a gig to visit some other important point of the French Quarter. In Jackson Square, the ancient parade ground in the center of the Old Quarter overlooked by the Cathedral of Saint Louis, many artists paint to the sound of the brass of the famous Olympia Brass Band.
New Orleans is full of seductions all year round, but in the holiday season of Mardi Gras it drags its visitors into a real frenzy. For about two weeks, the inhabitants cheer the city with the splendor of costumes, parades, fireworks.
The Old Ursuline Convent, built in 1752, is the oldest building in the region, while the Saint Louis Cathedral was consecrated in 1794 and has undergone several alterations since then. To see the Baroque high altar and the frescoed ceilings. Near the cathedral is the Cabildo, built as the seat of the Spanish colonial government and now a museum space dedicated to Mardi Gras.
The Jazz Museum in the Old Mint, a real must for fans of this musical genre.
The Garden District so named for its lush gardens. It is a residential neighborhood, full of impressive mansions, commissioned by the wealthy and local merchants. Robinson House and Colonel Short’s Villa are among the most grandiose residences. The most romantic experience in New Orleans is a ride on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar. It is the last survivor of those described by Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire and covers the 10.5km from Canal Street to Carrollton Avenue. Its path touches many monuments, including the Lee Circle with the tribute to the confederal general Robert E. Lee, the neo-Gothic Christ Church, the Touro Synagogue, the Latter Public Library and the Loyola and Tulane Universities. Just off St. Charles Avenue is one of the most pleasant urban parks in the country.
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But above all, New Orleans is the city of jazz. This eclectic and innovative style was born in this city at the beginning of the 20th century, without which contemporary music would not be understood today. Key figures of this musical style were born in New Orleans, among them the trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong.
HISTORY – The area where New Orleans is located was explored by the Spaniards during the first half of the 16th century. In 1682, the Frenchman Robert Cavalier de La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi on an expedition that originated in Canada and took him to cross the main river of the United States. After this adventure, La Salle claimed for France the immense territory of Louisiana whose unexplored frontiers stretched from the English colonies in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. In 1718, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, coming from Alabama, where he had founded the city of Biloxi, arrived in this area of Mississippi and considered the shores of Lake Pontchartrain as an ideal place for a settlement, to which he gave the name of New Orleans as homage to the Duke of Orleans, regent of France during the childhood of Louis XV. From 1722 this settlement was designed as the capital of the French territories in this region of America. The colonization project, however, was not exemplary, as the French Crown sent ex-prisoners, slaves and servants and other people to this region, which it convinced with the promise of gold and riches in abundance. Beginning in 1763, the city of New Orleans and Louisiana were acquired by Spain as a result of the Peace of Paris which ended the Seven Years’ War. Also as a result of this war also known as the Indian wars in America, France lost control of Acadia, (Nova Scotia), a region that came under British control. Due to this political change, many French settlers from the Canadian region moved to New Orleans and the surrounding region. At the end of the eighteenth century, various fires devastated the city, today many of the structures that remain standing were rebuilt by the Spaniards following the Hispanic style. In 1800, as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars, Spain ceded the territory of Louisiana to France, which in 1803 it sold to the United States. The plan to annex this new territory to the United States (known as the Louisiana Purchase) was swift. Thus, in 1803 the United States paid France to purchase the province and in 1812 Louisiana became a new state of the Union. The city of New Orleans thrived mainly under American control, thanks to its port, the cultivation of sugar and the slave system. During the US Civil War (1861-65), the city was an important economic and military center of the Confederacy. Therefore, the Union army made enormous efforts to be able to capture the city, an objective it achieved in 1862. With the end of the war and slavery, the city experienced the difficulties of restructuring. Despite the many hardships that the city suffered, (including the malaria epidemic of 1871, the hurricane of 1815 and the flu, 1915), New Orleans managed during the 19th and 20th centuries to become the third most important city of the United States. The fundamental thing for this dynamism was undoubtedly the port, which gives access to the Gulf of Mexico and allows the distribution of goods to the inside the country. New Orleans became a real “ghost town” in August 2005, the arrival of Katrina, the most devastating hurricane in the history of the United States of America since 1935, with winds of 250 km / h, forced 80% of the population to abandon their homes, as the city was submerged by the waters of Lake Pontchartrain.
Useful numbers and addresses in New Orleans
Emergency number 911 Solara Hospital New Orleans
14500 Hayne Blvd New Orleans, LA 70128 tel. (504) 210-0460 (504) 210-0466 Police New Orleans Police Dept 2932 Tulane Ave New Orleans, LA 70119 tel. (504) 658-6000
Inhabitants – about 384,000
Area – 905 sq km