New Orleans has deep French roots on practically every corner and Jackson Square is no exception. Built in 1721 over the Mississippi River (though the view has since been blocked by newer constructions), the plaza’s design was directly based on the Place des Vosges in Paris. Said square was about a hundred years old at the time, but still one of the most fashionable areas of the French capital.
Jackson Square was originally the site of public executions, as were many city squares in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century, however, it became known for its appeal to painters, art students, and the general creative class. Today on the pedestrian avenue of Chartres Street, you can still find plenty of artists, caricaturists, musicians, and other street performers, like jugglers and musicians.
One of New Orleans’ foremost icons, Jackson Square is a major event center for the city. It hosts the French Quarter Festival each year, as well as Caroling in Jackson Square. Concerts are sometimes held here, and landmarks like the St. Louis Cathedral and the Pontalba Buildings make it a popular attraction year-round.