Cabildo, New Orleans


One of the many historical buildings that are part of the French Quarter is the Cabildo. It was of prime importance in the early government of Louisiana. The colonial seat was housed within the Cabildo. The building borders Jackson Square and has two other famous buildings close by, St. Louis Cathedral and the Presbytere. The first Cabildo was consumed in 1788 in the Great Fire of New Orleans. It was rebuilt with Spanish architecture, but has a French style Mansard roof.

The name was derived from the use of the building by government officials. This building was where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. The city council stayed at this site until 1850. In October of 1960 the Cabildo was listed as a National Historic Landmark.

The building is one of the many museums in New Orleans. When visitors enter the Cabildo they come into the main hall. There is a room called the Sala Capitular which translates to Capitol Room that was once used as a courtroom. The Spaniards were the first to use it for this purpose. It became the Louisiana Supreme Court after the Civil War. In 1911 the Cabildo was turned into the Louisiana State Museum.

The museum has exhibits that show the personal stories of the people of Louisiana. They have on display the engravings of the famous artist John James Audubon. The museum has in its possession over one thousand artifacts and original artwork. Visitors will find that many of the exhibits are interactive.

There was an arsenal built by the Spanish in 1839 that is part of the museum property. Guests at the museum also get to tour this facility as part of the admission price. Exhibits at this site include "Louisiana and the Mighty Mississippi'' and "Freshly Brewed: The Coffee Trade and the Port of New Orleans''.

The Cabildo is just one part of the Louisiana State Museum complex. The other sites that are in the same area include the Presbytere, the 1850 House, Madame John's Legacy and the Old US Mint.

The price of admission to the Cabildo/Arsenal, Presbytere and Old US Mint is six dollars for adults. Senior citizens, students and active military personnel are five dollars. Children under twelve are free at the entire Louisiana State Museum complex. Schools can reserve a time to visit the museum and it is free. If a combination of tickets is purchased for at least two sites there is a twenty percent discount. The Cabildo is located at 701 Chartres St. Jackson Square, New Orleans.

The hours of the museum are Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. If any information is needed call (504) 568-6968 or (800) 568-6968. There is handicapped accessibility, but there is no free parking. No food service is available at the museum, but because of the close proximity to the French Quarter there are restaurants nearby. Many hotels, bed and breakfasts and small guesthouses are available in the French Quarter, several within a short distance of the Cabildo.

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