New Orleans, Louisiana

By | October 9, 2022


New Orleans
City in the United States
State Louisiana
County Orleans Parish
Coordinates 29°58’N, 90°6’WL
Surface 907 km²
– country 467.6 km²
– water 439.4 km²
(821 inhabitant/km²)
Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D)
New Orleans from the air

According to ehuacom, New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans, Dutch: Nieuw-Orléans) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The city was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and is named after the Frenchman Philip II of Orléans. At the legal and administrative level, the City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish are the same. New Orleans is also known as The Big Easy. The city was the capital of Louisiana until 1849, since then it has been Baton Rouge.

The city is an industrial and distribution center, has an important port, the Port of South Louisiana, and is known for its rich cultural heritage, especially in music and cuisine. The city is located on the Mississippi, about 160 km before the Gulf of Mexico and on Lake Pontchartrain.


New Orleans was founded in 1718 (officially May 7) by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville as a trading post of the French La compagnie du Mississippi and named after Philip of Orléans, the Count of Orléans, who was regent of France at the time. The area was at that time inhabited by the Chitimacha Indians. The city grew into an important military and commercial city for the hinterland, called La Louisiane. The city and the colony would struggle for a long time with the various Indian tribes. The Chickasaw – and the Natchezindiansfought a dogged and protracted battle with the settlers. Plantations were set up along the Mississippi and large quantities of slaves were imported to obtain labor. The Code Noir of 1685 would determine the position of slaves well into the 19th century. In 1722, the city was hit by a tropical cyclone that largely destroyed the city. After this, the city was rebuilt according to a checkerboard pattern, which is still visible in the old center (French Quarter). An Ursuline Monastery was founded in 1727.

Louisiana came under Spanish rule after the Peace of Paris in 1763. This led to an uprising by the residents of New Orleans who ousted Spanish governor Antonio de Ulloa in 1768. A group of townspeople sailed to France to ask King Louis XV to bring the colony back under French rule, which he refused. The revolt was put down militarily in 1769 by the second Spanish governor, Alejandro O’Reilly, and the leaders of the revolt were taken captive to Cuba and others were executed. Under Spanish rule, New Orleans had its first heyday. The city became the transit port for the many sugar cane and cotton plantations. The Spaniards also imported many black slaves. Because these slaves could be released relatively easily, a community of free blacks arose in New Orleans. During the Spanish period, two major city fires took place in which a large part of the city went up in flames. After this, the city, which consisted largely of wooden buildings, was rebuilt in stone. The current buildings in the French Quarter date from this time. Also famous buildings such as the cathedral, Cabildo and Presbytere were built by the Spaniards. Also, the city was first expanded outside the city walls.

In 1800 the area was returned to France and in 1803 it was sold to the United States by Napoleon, purchasing Louisiana. Around the same time period, the Haitian Revolution took place and many people came and settled in the French-speaking city of New Orleans. Among them not only white French but also a large group of free blacks. Precisely this has led to the fact that the city remained French-speaking for a long time. With the War of 1812, the United States and the United Kingdom once again engaged in combat. In 1815, the Battle of New Orleans took placeplace while both countries had already reached a peace agreement. The battle was won by the Americans led by General Andrew Jackson who would later become president. The pirate Jean Lafitte also played a role in the defense of the city. The port became an important transshipment point for trade along the Mississippi. Likewise for the transatlantic slave trade. From 1808 slaves were no longer allowed to be brought into the US, but because of this the slave trade would increase even more in this city because the authorities more or less ignored the law.

From 1803 to 1861, New Orleans was regularly ravaged by the yellow fever, which claimed 150,000 lives and mainly affected the Irish and Italian immigrants, who had no resistance whatsoever. In the year 1853 alone, the city lost 12,000 inhabitants, or 10% of the total, to the disease.

From April 25 to May 1, 1862, another battle of New Orleans took place, this time in the American Civil War. The Confederate States had to evacuate the city on May 2.

Hurricane Katrina

In August 2005, New Orleans was badly hit by Hurricane Katrina. Some of the dikes gave way and the water flowed to the city below sea level. As a result, almost the entire city was under water. Hundreds of thousands of people were previously evacuated from the city. The hurricane killed at least 1,800 in the United States.

Despite the large-scale evacuation before the arrival of the hurricane, many (poor) people still stayed in the city. Due to the flooding, the lack of electricity, lack of food and water, the city proved unlivable for a while and everyone had to leave the city.

New Orleans residents, including Mayor Ray Nagin, criticized the slow response.

In October 2008 it became known that termites may be partly to blame for the dike breaches in 2005. In 2000, termites were discovered in some dikes that were to break during the 2005 disaster.

Former Mayor Ray Nagin was arrested in 2013, and convicted in 2014 for corruption in rebuilding the city. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.


The entire New Orleans metropolitan area, Greater New Orleans, has a significantly higher population than the city itself (384,320 in 2014, at 391,006 estimated in 2017): 1,240,977 inhabitants in 2013.

In addition to the built-up areas of the city, New Orleans also has uncultivated swamps, especially in the east of the city. Some places within Orleans Parish have had an independent position from the city of New Orleans throughout history, such as Irish Bayou. Algiers was a separate city until 1870. From that moment on, the city and the Orleans Parish merged.

About 5.3% of New Orleans’ population is Hispanic and Hispanic, 60.2% is of African and 2.9% of Asian origin, according to the 2010 census. The most widely spoken language in New Orleans is English, 90.31%, followed by Spanish 4.84%, Vietnamese 1.87% and French 1.20%.

The shotgun house is a type of house that was originally built in New Orleans. Shotgun houses have a narrow, rectangular construction and consist of three to five rooms in a row with no corridors.


New Orleans has several nicknames, the most famous of which is The Big Easy. This nickname probably originated in the early 20th century because it was easy to find work in the city. Other nicknames are, The City that Care Forgot, which refers to the apparently carefree life of its residents, Crescent City because the city is built along the Mississippi, Hollywood South because it is a popular city as a movie set, NOLA and The City of Yes.

New Orleans is the cradle of several music genres. Around 1900, jazz emerged as a musical improvisation in the city’s African-American community as a mixture of ragtime, blues, folk, Negro spirituals and influenced by West African rhythms. The first jazz variant was Dixieland, also known as New Orleans jazz. Jazz was controversial in the early years and it was made more and more difficult for the musicians, so that the further development of jazz took place in Chicago and New York.

The city played an important role in the genesis of funk. Professor Longhair invented the New Orleans piano, a style of piano playing that is very recognizable with elements of rumba, mambo and calypso. Another important music pioneer was Dave Bartholomew. Negro spiritual and gospel music are also part of the city. Mahalia Jackson was born on October 26, 1911, in New Orleans, known for her gospel songs. Although she was underestimated, she undeniably contributed to the emancipation of African Americans. On August 20, 1963, she sang the famous We shall overcome in front of more than 200,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. She died on January 27, 1972 in Chicago.

New Orleans is famous for its carnival called Mardi Gras. The name is French for Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. It’s a costume and parade party. Funerals with music are also famous. These are processions in which the coffin with the deceased is carried through the streets accompanied by a brass band. During the procession there is first a mourning section with sombre music and then a procession with cheerful music and dance.

New Orleans’ cuisine of idiosyncratic dishes has its roots in the city’s ethnic mishmash combining French, African, Spanish and Native American cooking and ingredients. Crustaceans such as crayfish (US: crawfish) and seafood such as oysters are widely used. The vegetables used are the Cajun holy trinity: onion, bell pepper and celery with the additional three: garlic, parsley and shallots. Well-known dishes are gumbo (stew), Jambalaya (rice dish), kidney beanswith rice, sugar fritters for breakfast and Bananas Foster for dessert.

The city has its own dialect.


The main attraction is the old town called the French Quarter. This name is somewhat misleading as this part was largely built in the Spanish period. Here you will find the terraced houses with the balconies for which the city is known. Well-known squares and streets are Bourbon Street (the nightlife area that is also notorious for its strip bars), Royal Street (art and antiques) and Jackson Square where the St. Louis Cathedral is located. In addition to Spanish and French architecture, there is also Neo -Baroque and Neo-Moorish architecture. Canal Streetforms the boundary with the French Quarter and the business district.

The city has more neighborhoods with their own character, such as the Garden District with villas from the nineteenth century. Five streetcar lines run through New Orleans. A well-known museum is the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.


In January the average temperature is 10.7 °C, in July 27.7 °C. Annual average rainfall is 1571.8 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).


New Orleans has two sports clubs that compete in one of the top four American professional sports. It’s about:

  • New Orleans Pelicans (basketball)
  • New Orleans Saints (American football)


  • The Princess and the Frog, an animated film from Disney, is set in New Orleans. This shows a lot of New Orleans culture.
  • The Big Easy (1987)

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius of New Orleans.

New Orleans

Arabia (6 km)

Bridge City (12 km)

Chalmette (10 km)

Gretna (6 km)

Harvey (9 km)

Jefferson (10 km)

Marrero (11 km)

Metairie (12 km)

Terry Town (5 miles)

Timber Lane (11 km)

Westwego (11 km)

New Orleans, Louisiana