In Louis Armstrong Park, Congo Sq was a Sunday gathering spot for slaves under the French Code Noir. For one day of the week, the enslaved could sing the songs and practice the cultural traditions of the continent they were exiled from. This was the groundwork of a uniquely New Orleanian link to Africa and much of the city's most iconic food, music and culture has been built on that foundation.

Today Congo Sq is marked by a few stylized statues and sculptures of the city's musical heritage and heroes. The space is also a major jumping-off point for protest marches, rallies and Second Lines.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tremé-Lafitte attractions

1. Louis Armstrong Park


The entrance to this massive park has got to be one of the greatest gateways in the US, a picturesque arch that ought rightfully to be the final set piece…

2. Louis Armstrong Statue

0.13 MILES

This statue of the iconic jazz trumpeter greets visitors as they enter Louis Armstrong Park.

3. St Louis Cemetery No 1


This cemetery received the remains of many early Creoles who were buried above-ground in family tombs due to the shallow water table. Cemetery visitation…

4. Mortuary Chapel

0.21 MILES

A fear of yellow-fever contagion led the city to forbid funerals for fever victims at St Louis Cathedral. Built in 1826 near St Louis Cemetery No 1, the…

5. Hermann-Grima House

0.27 MILES

Samuel Hermann, a Jewish merchant who married a Catholic woman, introduced the American-style Federal design to the Quarter in 1831. Hermann sold the…

6. Historic Voodoo Museum


Of the (many) voodoo-themed spots in the French Quarter, this one is a favorite. The narrow corridors and dark rooms, stuffed with statues, dolls and…

7. Backstreet Cultural Museum


Mardi Gras Indian suits grab the spotlight with dazzling flair – and finely crafted detail – in this informative museum examining the distinctive elements…

8. Hemmerling Gallery of Southern Art

0.31 MILES

William 'Bill' Hemmerling was a self-taught folk artist who incorporated wood, debris and found objects into a powerfully vital body of work. This gallery…