Louisiana

Encircle Louisiana: The capital of État de Louisiane (State of Louisiana) is Baton Rouge. The centerpiece of the state’s second largest city is the tallest U. S. capitol building at 450 feet. Louisiana’s entertainment center is Bourbon Street and the French Quarter in New Orleans. Your last stop is in Darrow offering southern charm on a Civil War era plantation.

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1 Louisiana State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

At 34 stories, the limestone Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge is the nation’s tallest. It is also a memorial to Huey Long who initiated it and then was shot and buried there three years after its completion in 1932. The statue in the foreground is his grave. The 18th step leading to the front door marks when Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. The rest of the 48 granite steps list each state in order of their statehood.

900 N 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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2 Downtown from Louisiana State Capitol Observation Tower in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

In the center of this grassy courtyard in Baton Rouge is a tribute to Huey Long. Also known as The Kingfish, this progressive yet controversial governor advocated redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor towards the end of the Great Depression. His radical ideas came to an abrupt end in 1935 when he was assassinated inside the towering Louisiana Capitol Building he helped to build. This south view is from 350 feet on the 27th floor of the observation deck.

900 N 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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3 Louisiana Old State Capitol Stained Glass Dome in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Mark Twain called the exterior of the Old Louisiana State Capitol “medieval” and suggested it be blown up after it had been occupied by Union troops for 20 years. Instead, this castle on the banks of the Mississippi River underwent a restoration in 1982. The renovation included a marvelous cast iron staircase that spirals towards an umbrella of stained glass. This old capitol is now the Museum of Political History. It includes an exhibit on Huey Long and the gun used to kill him in 1935 inside the current state capitol.

100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
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4 Oliver Pollock Monument Near Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Near the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is this statue by Frank Hayden called, “A Tribute to Oliver Pollock.” The sculpture was created for the Baton Rouge Bicentennial celebration in 1976. It is part of a series in Galvez Plaza of Louisiana displaying patriots from the Revolutionary War. Pollock helped finance the Revolution. He is also credited with creating the symbol $ as the U. S. dollar sign in 1778.

100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
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5 Southern Belle on Curved Staircase in a Plantation in Darrow, Louisiana

The grand old south is still alive among the 140 Louisiana plantations that are now National Historic Landmarks. Many of these gorgeous mansions offer guided tours by southern belles dressed in Antebellum hoop dresses. The properties have long, tree-lined driveways with immaculate gardens. The homes are decorated in their pre-Civil War splendor in sharp contrast to the squalor of the slaves’ quarters.

40136 River Rd, Darrow, LA 70725
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New Orleans, Louisiana Composite of Four Photos

Four photos of New Orleans, Louisiana are: 1) The Maid of Orléans or Joan the Arch statue gifted by France in 1958 and now on Decatur Street near the French Market; 2) Statue of Louis Armstrong playing trumpet inside Harrah’s Casino and Hotel; 3) A Mardi Gras jester statue near Riverwalk; and 4) Western skyline of New Orleans from across the Mississippi River.

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6 French Market Arch Entry in New Orleans, Louisiana

Below rows of cast iron balconies are the famous (some would say infamous) streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter. This neighborhood is a swirling, vibrant kaleidoscope of architectural charm, neon lights, loud music, artisans, aromas of fresh fish and day-old beer. The area also welcomes throngs of people who thrill at watching people watch them as they strut, stroll or stumble along. Take time to visit the French Market, the country’s oldest since 1791. Also sample some quick-serve Cajun specialties.

146 Barracks St, New Orleans, LA 70116
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7 Joan of Arc Statue in French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana

The original equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc by Emmanuel Frémiet was commissioned by the French Republic’s first president, Napoleon III, in 1874. The famous artwork is in Place des Pyramids, Paris. Similar versions of this gilded bronze statue, called Jeanne d’Arc, are in Nancy, France, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see Statue gallery), Portland, Oregon and Melbourne, Australia. In New Orleans, she is called the Maid of Orléans and is located in the French Quarter next to the French Market. This was a gift from the people of France in 1958.

914 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
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Jester Holding Joker Playing Card Mural in New Orleans, Louisiana

This jester holding a joker is wearing the traditional motley-patterned costume of the court fool from the mid-16th century, better known as the Middle Ages. In New Orleans, the jester image is frequently seen during the Mari Gras, at the Harrah’s casino, a ride at Six Flags, in souvenir shops, as the name of a cocktail, a retailer and the New Orleans Jesters soccer team. Perhaps this wall mural attests to all the foolishness occurring in and around Bourbon Street.

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8 Amur Leopard at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Amur leopard is critically endangered. Less than 30 of these big cats live in the wild within a 1,200 square mile area of Korea, China and Russia. Fortunately, ten times as many live in zoos such as this one in New Orleans. The exquisite animal has thick fur covered with rosettes and black rings. They can run faster than 35 m.p.h. and leap up to 20 feet. The Audubon Zoo opened in 1914 and now has over 2,000 animals on about 58 acres. It is named after John James Audubon. He illustrated “The Birds of America” in 1839.

6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
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9 Blue-and-yellow Macaw at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana

The blue-and-yellow macaw is one of 19 species of parrots from Mexico plus Central and South America. This species is the most hybridized by the pet industry and among public exhibitors. This may explain why this bird’s chest appears more orange than the classic blue-and-yellow coloring. For more sightings of great birds, visit Ochsner Island, also called Bird Island, at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana.

6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
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10 Sumatran Orangutans at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana

These two Sumatran orangutans at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans look like beggars on a street corner. These natives of Indonesia can grow up to 200 pounds. When they are not looking for an easy handout, the orangutans can create tools for digging out termites, collecting honey and eating fruit. These two are the proud parents of Menari. She was born in 2009. This is an endangered species with only 7,500 living in the wild.

6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
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