Located in the French Quarter on the northern side of Jackson Square lies the unassuming yet stately Cabildo, part of the Louisiana State Museum. A powerhouse of historical relevance, many argue that the Cabildo is one of the most historically significant buildings in America. Built between 1795 and 1799 to replace a building that burned in the great 1974 fire, the Cabildo served as the seat of New Orleans government during the Spanish Colonial period.
It was here that the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803, almost doubling the size of the United States, and it was also here that the seat of the New Orleans City Council made residence, as well as the Louisiana Supreme Court from 1868-1910. Also here, in this very building, several landmark cases were tried, including the “separate but equal” Plessy v. Ferguson in 1986.
Today, the Cabildo museum is one of the finest living examples of New Orleans’ rich history. Situated in the heart of the French Quarter, tours showcasing more than 1,000 artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries are available. To get a full sense of the history of New Orleans, a visit to the Cabildo is a must.
The Cabildo is located at 701 Place John Paul Deaux. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for seniors, students, and active military. Children 12 and under are admitted free.