The City of New Orleans
Founded in 1718 and named after the French Regent, Philippe Charles d’Orléans, La nouvelle Orleans, today known as New Orleans, is one of the most culturally diverse and vibrant cities in America. Originally under French and Spanish rule, New Orleans was included in the territory acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 for $15 million and is known as one of the most famous real estate deals of all time.
And All That Jazz
The birthplace of Jazz, the home of American Mardi Gras and the reputation for lavish parties and lively festivals, the Big Easy consistently ranks in the top 10 vacation destinations in the country. With a passionate, congenial and eccentric population, the city shares a mosaic culture that is representative of its rich history and pays homage to each of its contributing traditions. Its cultural milieu samples from the city’s historically European, Caribbean, African and American roots, borrowing cuisine, customs and architecture that have transformed the city into a place like no other. This amalgamation of such diverse cultural influences can be best seen in local cuisine where gumbo, beignets and jambalaya can be enjoyed in many of the over 3,000 local restaurants that are scattered throughout the city’s 13 districts and 72 neighborhoods.
Shotguns, Bayous and Who Dat
Much of the city’s charm and identity is also expressed through its architectural and engineering marvels. Over 35,000 buildings are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, more than any other state. Shotgun Houses, Creole Cottages and Antebellum Homes in a rainbow assortment of lively colors and with intricate detailing give the Big Easy a whimsical and joyous aesthetic that highlights the sense of pride and importance of architecture to New Orleans’ identity. The region also boasts structural accomplishments like the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway which runs over Lake Pontchartrain for nearly 24 miles, bridging Metairie to Mandeville and is the longest water bridge in the world. Similarly note-worthy, the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL team, is the largest steel frame fixed dome in the world and has played host to 6 Super Bowls, more than any other stadium.
A Bustling Center of Commerce
As a strategic port city connected by the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is not just a place to enjoy good food and learn about US history, but also stands as a bustling economic center, providing oil refining, petroleum production and natural gas distribution for the entire country. The transportation routes discovered by the Native Americans and early French and Spanish settlers are still in use today and makes the The Port of New Orleans one of the busiest transport hubs in the world. Tourism and more recently, voluntourism also add to much of the city’s economic strength with tourist dollars constituting roughly 40% of New Orleans’ tax revenue and visiting volunteers providing much needed service with post-Katrina recovery and rebuilding.
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