When you think of Louisiana, you probably start imagining a steaming pile of crawfish, and Mardi Gras beads flying through the air as Jazz music blasts in the background, but the truth is, there is a lot more to Louisiana than meets the eye. And I’m not just talking about the beautiful bayous, awesome people and incredible culture.
There’s so much more to know about Louisiana than jazz and Mardi Gras parades.
- While all of Louisiana may be known for its crawfish, Breaux Bridge reigns as king of crustaceans. The city is called the “Crawfish Capital of the World” and has been proving it for over 50 years with its annual Crawfish Festival.
- Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV, the King of France from 1643-1715.
- Until about 1890, City Park in New Orleans was a favorite dueling spot for Creole people. They would gather at the “Dueling Oaks” with a pistol, saber or colichemarde (long sword) and fight with their opponents.
- In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million dollars, nearly doubling the size of the country.
5.Just because it’s called the “French Quarter” doesn’t mean that being in New Orleans’ famous neighborhood is like strolling through a Parisian city. Most of the buildings today were influenced by Spanish architecture after a fire in 1794 destroyed most of the French colonial architecture.
- Louisiana is the only state that still acts under Napoleonic code, which derives from the original French emperor’s civil code.
- The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway for pirates. It was also named after the French-born Louisiana pirate of the same name.
- The first opera in the United States was performed in New Orleans in 1796.
- Louis Armstrong, one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time, is from New Orleans.
- Mardi Gras may be the most well-known celebration in Louisiana, but the festival’s roots can be traced back to medieval Europe. It was only in 1875 that Fat Tuesday was declared an official state holiday.
- And, speaking of Mardi Gras, each official color has an assigned meaning. Purple stands for justice, gold for power and green for faith.
- Many of Louisiana’s historic mansions still have long, floor-level mirrors that women would use to ensure their ankles weren’t showing.
- The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, in Southern Louisiana, is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world, spanning 23.83 miles.
- The Louisiana Hayride radio program helped music icons like Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash achieve fame.
- Baton Rouge is the only site of the American Revolution Battle that was fought outside the original 13 colonies.
- The St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world. It’s been up and running for over 150 years.
- Louisiana is the only US state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of French colonists who settled the Canadian Maritime Provinces.
- Louisiana’s waters are home to 117,518 oyster reefs.
- New Orleans is acclaimed as the birthplace of jazz. Locals took music from voodoo rituals and African slaves and combined it with music they heard in church and barrooms — the rest is history.
- Louisiana is the only state in the union that doesn’t have counties. Instead, its political subdivisions are called parishes.
- At 450 feet with 34 stories, Louisiana has the tallest state capitol building in the US.
- Louisiana has its own French dialects, the most popular being Creole French. The dialect is mainly a mix of the original French spoken by settlers and Acadian French, but it also includes words of African, Spanish, Native American and English descent.
- Louisiana-made tabasco sauce holds the second oldest food trademark in the US patent office.
- Tabasco is also still made on Avery Island today, where it was first created in the 1860s.
- The oldest city in Louisiana is Natchitoches. It celebrated its 300th anniversary in January, 2014.
- Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, means “red stick” in French. It was named after a bloody pole in the town that held the heads of several dead animals, marking the boundary between two tribal hunting grounds.
- The Nottoway Plantation Home in White Castle is the largest antebellum mansion in the South. It’s so stunning, that it served as the inspiration for the mansion in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”
- Louisiana is one of the few US states that offers sales tax refunds to international visitors.
- Louisiana is the largest producer of alligators, crawfish and oysters in the country.
- Jungle Gardens on Avery Island is home to the world’s most complete collection of camellias.
- The official beverage of Louisiana isn’t a Hurricane, Sazarec or any other signature alcoholic drink. It’s milk.
Louisiana is a place where you can Pick Your Passion—a state with so much diversity that just a short drive takes you to another world within the state’s borders. Whether it’s food, history, culture or the great outdoors, the options are endless. So come and see it, taste it, experience it, then you can share it!
Whether you’re a long-time resident or just passing through on a visit, go ahead and do it: tour Baton Rouge. And do it in comfort and style when you work with us at Riverside Limousines.