The French Quarter

New Orleans

is the most mysterious neighborhood in America. The 17th and 18th Century Spanish houses hide behind their high walls. A rich and secret life takes place behind them, in patio gardens, along second and third-story galleries, and in tall, fan-cooled rooms.

Hugging the bank of the huge, swiftly moving Mississippi River and lying barely above sea level is the Vieux Carre, or French Quarter, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Buildings crowd each other and the narrow streets. Cast-iron and wroght-iron balconies overhang the sidewalks, providing shelter from hot summer sun or sudden downpours. Cool, inviting courtyards can be glimpsed down narrow alleys or carriageways, and the smells of shrimp remoulades and seafood gumbos waft from hidden kitchens. Cathedral bells, jazz trumpets, and ship horns serenade residents and visitors. The Quarter is the heart and soul of modern New Orleans and serves as a continuous reminder of the city's Creole, Colonial past.
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Mardi Gras

N'awlins Style

You will find the big day can fall on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9.
Carvival (from Latin carnivale) - translated to be farewell to the flesh (the feast of Epiphany) to midnight on (Shrove) Fat Tuesday (the day before Lent). The party season before Mardi Gras, starts on January 6 (the Twelfth Night). Celebrated with Kingcakes at Mardi Gras parties.

New Orleans

First sited as Indian portage to Lake Ponchartrain and Gulf in 1699, by Bienville and Iberville. Founded by Bienville in 1718; named by him in honor of the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France. Called the Crescent City because of location in bend of the Mississippi River.
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Early Louisiana History

Spanish explorers first visited present-day Louisiana in the 16th century. In 1682, explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, traveled the Mississippi River and took possession of the entire valley in the name of Louis XIV, king of France, in whose honor he named it Louisiana. In 1711, Louisiana became an independent French colony and New Orleans, founded in 1718, was made the capital in 1722.
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