Architectural Tour in New Orleans (Self Guided), New Orleans

If you are looking to learn about the heritage sites of New Orleans you might want to take this tour. Widely known for its variety of unique architectural styles, the city has lots of fine examples of buildings in the Greek Revival, the American Colonial and the Victorian styles. Check out the tour suggested below for an orientation.
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Architectural Tour in New Orleans Map

Guide Name: Architectural Tour in New Orleans
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hermann-Grima House
  • The Cabildo
  • Jackson Square
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • Gallier House
  • Old Ursuline Convent
Hermann-Grima House

1) Hermann-Grima House

Located in the historic French Quarter, the Hermann-Grima House, is one of the best examples of upper-class Creole living that you will ever see. The house features a courtyard, the only stable in the French Quarter, and a fully-functional outdoor 1830s kitchen. The best time to visit is from October to May, when cooking demonstrations take place in the kitchen using the tools that were in use during 19th century. The house is huge. It begins on St. Louis Street and ends on Conti Street.

Built in 1831 by architect William Brand for Samuel Herman and his family, the Gregorian-Style structure features the furnishings and mementos of the family. A unique feature of the dwelling is that the house observes historically accurate traditional dress. In October the house is dressed in mourning while in December festive decorations and food fill the house. The house eventually became a boarding house before it was turned into a museum.

The museum hosts exhibitions of Louisiana female artists. The exhibits range from artwork to pottery to jewelry. The house also offers a Creole Christmas camp for kids, Creole cooking classes, historic mixology classes, and school tours.
The Cabildo

2) The Cabildo (must see)

One cannot visit New Orleans without seeing this. The Cabildo was the original seat of the New Orleans colonial government. Located along the Jackson Square next to the Saint Louis Cathedral, this building is an important part of American and Louisiana history.

The Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies were held at this location. The original building was constructed in 1769. The current structure was raised in 1798 to replace the old building that was destroyed by fire. The local government used the building until the mid-1850s.

Currently, the Cabildo is a museum that tells the history of Louisiana from the time of the Native Americans until the Reconstruction Era. Many of the exhibit’s displays give you a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. The museum also holds an exhibit that tells the story of music. Visitors should make sure to view the death mask of Napoleon that was donated to the museum by his doctor.

Why You Should Visit:
3 stories packed with the 300-year history of Louisiana – from its indigenous beginnings to the French/Spanish influence, Battle of New Orleans, significant people in the state's past, and more.
If you like history and facts, this is a great place to go. The upstairs also provides great outdoor views of Jackson Square.

They sell a combo ticket with the Presbytere on the other side of the cathedral (or any other Louisiana State museum) with a 20% discount.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-4:30pm
Jackson Square

3) Jackson Square (must see)

Jackson Square, originally known as the Place d’Armes or Plaza de Armas, is a major and important cultural attraction in New Orleans. Because of its proximity to the Mississippi River, Saint Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo, it was and is a popular meeting spot. Architect and landscape architect Louis H. Pilié designed the plaza in 1721. The square received its current name in 1850.

The square was named after President Andrew Jackson. President Jackson was a hero of the War of 1812 and a statue of him on horseback is in the center of the square. The statue is one of four identical statues in the United States. The square was a hubbub of activity in colonial times and is where the militia performed drills, vendors sold their wares at the open-air market, and public hangings and beheadings occurred.

No longer the site of hangings or beheadings, today’s visitors can have their portrait or caricature drawn by an artist or be entertained by the colorful dancers, mimes, clowns, or singers. In addition, they can buy the works of the many artists who line the walkways. The site has been the location of many movies, festive events, television shows, and is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.

Why You Should Visit:
The view of Jackson Square is fairly iconic, featuring Jackson's statue at its center and the beautifully designed St Louis Cathedral as its backdrop, but there's always more to appreciate than the view.
Art festivals, music festivals, street performers... you never know what you'll find here. Good for some great tourist photos, a quick break on the chairs, and really a great place to take it all in.
You'll see so much of New Orleans from just this little spot that it's kind of amazing. And if nothing else, it's free to go to.

Go by 2:00 pm to get the full effect: otherwise, the area dies down... until dinner.
Also, remember to walk up the steps and watch the boats go by on the Mississippi.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Louis Cathedral

4) St. Louis Cathedral (must see)

The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals that is in continuous use in the United States. It was dedicated to King Louis IX of France in 1718. The place of worship is located in the French Quarter and features Spanish Colonial and Renaissance architecture. It is also a building that is most associated with the city of New Orleans.

Originally constructed in 1718, the church has over 6,000 members. The current cathedral was built in 1789. A renovation in 1850 completely changed the look of the house of worship to the design we see today.

The church was visited by Pope John Paul in 1987 and the plaza was renamed in the pope’s honor to celebrate his visit. The cathedral is a popular building and has been frequently photographed and featured in many movies, television shows, and other presentations. Mass is celebrated on Saturdays at 5 pm, on Sundays from 9 am to 11 am, and weekdays at noon.

Visitors will admire the Rococo-style, gilded altar and stained glass windows. Two gifts shops sell religious items and gifts with the proceeds going towards the upkeep and maintenance of the church.

Why You Should Visit:
The church is awesome to see, but all the happenings that take place in front of the church is also a treat. This area is treated like the town square because it basically is.
The stained glass windows are most representative of the best found in Catholic churches, but you don't have to be Catholic to come here to take photos and look around.

Tours are offered during the week, so be sure to check the schedule.
Getting breakfast across the street at Café du Monde before or after church would be a good idea, too, of course.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Gallier House

5) Gallier House (must see)

The Gallier House is one of New Orleans finest examples of great architecture. The Gallier family built many important structures in New Orleans, including the French Opera House, the Gallier Hall, the Pontalba Apartments, the Leeds Building, and the St. Charles Hotel.

Built in 1857 by architect James Gallier, the house features an indoor kitchen and hot and cold running water in the bathroom, a rare luxury at the time of construction. The house is located in the French Quarter on Royal Street and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

Beautiful design is what you will see when you visit the Gallier House. The exterior of the house features a carriage-way and a balcony decorated with ornate millwork, while the interior of the house is decorated with elaborate cornices and detailed millwork. There are also several portraits of the family throughout the structure.

The house also observes a custom known as Summer Dress. During the summer months, furniture, rugs, and linens are covered or replaced with lighter weight fabrics to help cool the house during hot summer months.

In addition to tours of the house, the museum offers camps for children and a special exhibit regarding the African American experience in New Orleans. The Taste of History Camp allows children to participate in the Creole cooking process and includes a trip to the local farmer’s market. The Dig-It Archaeology Camp allows students to study the lives of New Orleans residents.

The Urban Black Experience: 19th Century New Orleans is a tour that illustrates the struggles, accomplishments, and contributions the African American Community have made to the city of New Orleans.

Why You Should Visit:
A richly appointed house that feels very authentic: you can easily picture the family and slaves going about their daily routines.
The guides are passionate and knowledgeable and keep you engaged with an inductive teaching approach, so you will really learn a lot.

This house is run by the Women's Exchange which also runs the Hermann-Grima House. If you do one you'll get a discount at the other – just save your receipt.
You cannot enter yourself so check the times for the tours.

Opening Hours:
Thu-Tue: 9:45am-4pm
Group tours occur from Thursday to Tuesday at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm (and by appointment)
Old Ursuline Convent

6) Old Ursuline Convent

The Old Ursuline Convent is one of the oldest buildings in the Mississippi River Valley. The building is also known as the Archbishop Antoine Blance Memorial Complex and is considered the treasure of the archdiocese. The convent is located on Charles Street.

The convent is named after the Sisters of the Ursula Order, who came to Louisiana in 1727 to start a school and orphanage for girls. Construction started on the building in 1733 and was completed in 1734. Ignace Francois Broutin designed the original structure and Michael Seringue built it.

In 1745, another building was constructed and completed in 1751. When the nuns moved into a larger building in 1824, the convent became a residence for the archdiocese. A portico and gatehouse were added in 1825. In addition to being a school, convent, and a home, the building also served as a make-shift hospital and orphanage.

The nuns also trained Indian and African American girls and the daughters of wealthy Creoles. In addition, they trained French girls, who were imported into the country, for marriage. The statues of praying saints in the courtyard are absolutely beautiful and should not be missed. There are also statues of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and Father Francis Xavier Seelos. Another beautiful element is the cypress hand-carved staircase. Tours are available from Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Creating your own self-guided walk in New Orleans is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans

African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans

The Louisiana African American Trail includes 26 sights located along the Mississippi River. Our tour will take you to the places on this trail that are located within the boundary of New Orleans, the starting point of this cultural heritage trail. Though this is a car tour, most of the attractions are located within walking distance. So don't hesitate to take the tour below and learn the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

New Orleans possesses a rich cultural and historical heritage and has a long and captivating story to tell. Whether you are interested in history and art or are intrigued by the mystical side of the world, the museums and the art galleries of New Orleans will never cease to impress you. Check out the Cultural Walking Tour below and discover the best museums the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Garden District Tour

Garden District Tour

Dating back to the 19th century, Garden District in New Orleans is famous for its heritage mansions and cottages. Along with the heritage sites you will discover several great specialty shops. Take the tour below and discover the beauty and unique atmosphere of the Garden District.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Big Shopping Adventure in New Orleans

Big Shopping Adventure in New Orleans

Among all the other activities that New Orleans has to offer, shopping is probably one of the most popular. Antiques, art, one of a kind jewelry, New Orleans has it all. This tour will take you to the biggest and most prominent shopping spots in New Orleans.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
French Quarter Walk

French Quarter Walk

The French Quarter, one of the oldest and most popular neighborhoods of New Orleans, otherwise known as Vieux Carre, was founded in 1718. It perfectly combines the tempting, noisy and nutty nightlife of Bourbon street with important historic landmarks, art galleries, sophisticated cafes and some of the city's oldest churches. Make sure not to miss a chance to explore this area and take this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Marigny Nightlife

Marigny Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles