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Here we are in Jackson Square. This is the center of the Vieux Carre. The Vieux Carre is the last surviving place where a man on a modest income can still live like a queen! The French Quarter is surrounded by dikes and serviced by ferries. So, no wonder were so happy! But, the center is Jackson Square. And, around the square is the St. Louis Cathedral. Where- the pope visited in his gorgeous outfits. We're going to make him the King of Bacchus next year. And we have two museums, the Cabildo and the Presbytere. Which are side by side with the St. Louis Cathedral.
Now, here at the Presbytere I am seen on one of the cannons in front of the building. Oooh BOY! What a ride! I hope they don't shoot it off! Oh. Excuse me. Behind us is the first submarine. This is the first submarine from the Civil War.
Also, at the Presbytere is one of our large Southern Bells. Is she a girl or is she a boy? In New Orleans, no-one can be sure. Since we're only one block from the Mississippi, why don't we go take a look. Follow me...
The most important landmark in New Orleans, Jackson Square. Designed as a drill field in 1722 by Adrien de Pauger known as the Place d'Armes, Jackson Square was transformed into a garden park by the Baroness Micaela Pontalba. The Baroness, who lived above the original drill field, grew tired of looking out of her window and seeing the dusty parade grounds. In 1851, the Baroness commited herself to the beautification of the square and installed walkways, gardens, and fences. Thanks to the Baroness, the old parade grounds were transformed into a beautiful park.
Jackson Square functions as the cultural and spiritual center of New Orleans. On any day, one will find local artists displaying their work on the fences surrounding the square. If so inclined, one can have their palm read, listen to jazz bands, watch a juggling act or have their portrait painted all in Jackson Square.
Towering over Jackson Square is the Cathedral of Saint Louis, King of France. The prominent position of the cathedral is fitting as the people of New Orleans are predominantly Catholic. The cathedral is an active parish and is the place of worship for thousands of New Orleanians. The cathedral that stands in the square today is actually the third structure to occupy the site. The first church was destroyed by a hurricane in 1722. The second was destroyed by the fire of 1788 which consumed nearly every structure in the French Quarter. The construction of the church one sees today began soon after the devastating fire with funds donated by Don Almonaster. The church was designated a cathedral in 1793.
At the center of the square stands the statue of Andrew Jackson. The statue was created by the sculptor Clark Mills and was unveiled in 1856. General Jackson led the forces that defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The square was dedicated to Andrew Jackson in 1856.
No visit to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Jackson Square.
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