The Cabildo: Louisiana State Museum’s Cultural Gem

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Nestled among the history and charm of the French Quarter are five buildings that comprise the Louisiana State Museum. The Cabildo is one of these, an elegant neighbor to the St. Louis Cathedral.

Photo: Mark J. Sindler, courtesy of Louisiana State Museum

The Cabildo—the name is Spanish for council—was the original seat of colonial government in New Orleans. It is an elegant Spanish colonial structure, built between 1795 and 1799. It is here that the Louisiana Purchase was finalized, increasing the size of our nation twofold. After housing city government, it became headquarters for the Louisiana State Supreme Court, before being transferred to the State Museum in 1908. After living through damaging fire in 1988, it was authentically restored and reopened to the public in 1994.

Photo: Mark J. Sindler, courtesy of Louisiana State Museum

A visit to the Cabildo offers a chance to see some remarkable artifacts of early colonial history. Among them, Napolean’s death mask, one of four that was made from a mold crafted by one of the emperor’s physicians. A current exhibition, From “Dirty Shirt”s to Buccaneeers: The Battle of New Orleans in American Culture, explores the battle’s history via artifacts, images, and documents.

The Cabildo
701 Chartes Street, New Orleans
504-568-6958
Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; closed Mondays and State holidays
Adults/$6, Seniors and active military/$5, children 12 and under/free

For history buffs, New Orleans is a treasure trove, including historical architecture just a few blocks away from here in our city’s Garden District. Stay with us and stroll through the neighborhood, soaking in the richness of an era gone by. Call today to make your reservation!

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