New Orleans, city often described as “most unique” city in the United States, thrives and breathes on the banks of the Mississippi river. Known for its festive spirit, vibrant history and distinctive cuisine, this city is a melting pot of many cultures, with French and African at the first place, and culture of Creoles and Cajuns, a New Orleans trademark. Intermingling of different cultures created a city atmosphere like no other, colored by festivals, love for music and customs and traditions that still find a way to capture people’s imagination.
The foundation of New Orleans
In the year 1718, New Orleans was a just a piece of land, mainly covered with swamps, with small Native American settlements. French explorers and traders created settlements alongside the Natives at the end of 17th century. It didn’t take long for potential of the land to be recognized, and in 1718, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founded the city of New Orleans, or, as it was originally named- Nouvelle-Orléans, in honor of erstwhile regent of the France, Philippe, Duke of Orleans.
In 1762, King Louis XV of France gave Louisiana to Spain, as a compensation for their loss of Florida to the British. What marked the short period of Spanish rule, besides influence they had on culture, is the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788, which destroyed over 800 buildings. Not long after, another fire devastated the city, and after the loss of over 200 more buildings, the only remaining French structure left was Old Ursuline Convent, who is also the oldest building in New Orleans.
New Orleans in the 19th century
In 1803, Louisiana was sold to the U.S. and that marks the great flood of Americans and European immigrant to New Orleans. In 1804, after Haitian revolution, city experienced an influx of people of Afro-Caribbean descent, who further diversified the population of the city.
City continued to thrive, and by 1840s, New Orleans became one of the wealthiest and the third-largest city in the United States. Since the city was a major port during the Atlantic Slave Trade, after the Civil War, many of the former slaves became a political force.
New Orleans in the 20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century, jazz was born and it ruled the streets of New Orleans. The city build up its reputation as a shrine of song and dance, and earned the nickname-“the city that care forgot."
With two locations, the Chasin' Tails restaurant brings a taste of New Orleans to the DMV area.
2200 N. Westmoreland St. Arlington VA 22213
5815 Trinity Parkway Centreville VA 20120
The Bayou N' A Bag are steamed bags of clams, snow crab legs, blue crab, lobster or crawfish.
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