The Presbytere, New Orleans

The Presbytere, New Orleans

Constructed in 1797 originally as a residence for the clergy of the Saint Louis Cathedral, the two-story Presbytère on Jackson Square shares a structural resemblance with the Cabildo and stands as one of the nation's finest examples of formal Spanish Colonial architecture. Despite the rich array of Renaissance elements, it never served its intended purpose, as its financial backer, a wealthy Spaniard, passed away before its completion. Eventually, the newly formed U.S. government took charge of finishing the building and repurposed it to house the Louisiana state courts during the 19th century.

In 1911, the Presbytère became part of the Louisiana State Museum, and today, it hosts a vibrant permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of Mardi Gras traditions, both in the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The display delves into many lesser-known aspects of the celebration and is presented in a compelling and poignant manner, relying on first-person accounts, photographs, audio recordings, videos, and beautiful artifacts such as crowns, scepters, costumes, and accessories associated with the annual festivities, which have grown to become one of the most renowned festivals globally.

On the first floor, visitors will find the "Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond", a similarly poignant yet uplifting exploration of the history, science, and profound human experiences associated with one of nature's most devastating forces. The well-narrated presentation and visual depictions provide an immersive understanding of the events and the resilience of the people of New Orleans in the face of the Katrina disaster, making you feel as if you were part of that challenging period in the city's history.

Tip:
Consider buying a combo ticket that offers a 20% discount when visiting along with The Cabildo on the Cathedral's other side (or any other Louisiana State Museum site).

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New Orleans. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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The Presbytere on Map

Sight Name: The Presbytere
Sight Location: New Orleans, USA (See walking tours in New Orleans)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana

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