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The former seat of government in colonial Louisiana now serves as the gateway to exploring the history of the state in general, and New Orleans in particular. It’s also a magnificent building in its own right; the elegant Cabildo marries elements of Spanish Colonial architecture and French urban design better than most buildings in the city. The diverse exhibits include Native American tools, 'Wanted' posters for escaped slaves, and a gallery’s worth of paintings of stone-faced old New Orleanians.
This was the site of the Louisiana Purchase ceremonies, the city council hall of New Orleans up until the 1850s, and the courtroom for Plessy versus Ferguson, the landmark 1896 US Supreme Court case that legalized segregation under the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine. Give yourself at least two hours to explore.