Jackson Square

sights / Squares & plazas

Lonely Planet review

Sprinkled with lazing loungers, surrounded by sketch artists, fortune-tellers and traveling showmen and watched over by cathedrals, offices and shops plucked from a Parisian fantasy, Jackson Sq is one of America’s great town greens and the heart of the Quarter. The identical, block-long Pontalba Buildings overlook the scene, and the nearly identical Cabildo and Presbytère structures flank the impressive St Louis Cathedral, which fronts the square. In the middle of the park stands the Jackson monument – Clark Mills’ bronze equestrian statue of the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, which was unveiled in 1856. The inscription, ‘The Union Must and Shall be Preserved, ’ was added by General Benjamin Butler, Union military governor of New Orleans during the Civil War, who basically wanted to rub it into the occupied city’s face (it worked). Free music often happens here, or near here, on a fairly regular basis.