What is the French Quarter’s biggest secret?
Take a ride back in history to learn one of the French Quarter’s biggest secrets. Our tour guide, Ron Amades with Royal Carriages, tells us about a story of rebirth.
The French Quarter as we know it today is actually the second city of New Orleans.
The first city, which was built by the French on the site in 1718, was lost in a tragic fire. On Good Friday of all days in 1788.
The accidental fire started in the home of the treasurer of the Spanish army.
Within 36 hours, that little fire consumed 480 buildings.
Eight percent of the population and 90 percent of the original city was gone in 36 hours.
At the time of the fire, New Orleans was the capital of the Spanish providence of Louisiana.
The king at the time sent a letter saying that the city would be rebuilt. That it wouldn’t be abandoned and would remain the capital.
The letter went on to say that the city would be rebuilt according to Spanish building code. Meaning they were to use brick, cement and stucco.
The buildings in the city today have walls that are almost 2 feet thick, which is one of the biggest reasons the city still stands today.
So all of the architecture in the French Quarter today is Spanish. It’s not French architecture at all.
Yup, that’s right. The French Quarter isn’t even French anymore!