Founder of New Orleans monument.
Lordly Bienville stares into the French Quarter, wondering where all the French people are.

The Man Who Built New Orleans

Field review by the editors.

New Orleans, Louisiana

If you want to point a finger and yell j'accuse! at someone for building New Orleans in such a vulnerable, sub-sea-level location, do it at the Bienville Monument. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, founded the city in 1717. He was from Canada. He chose the spot.

Bienville's monument depicts him in a regal pose, his chin held high. Standing with his back to Bienville is Father Athanase, a Recollect monk. Slouched at Bienville's feet is a generic, nearly-nude Indian, listlessly holding a peace pipe. You don't come away from the monument with a good feeling about Bienville -- and you know nothing good is going to happen to the Indian.

In what was perhaps typical of New Orleans bureaucracy, the city took nearly 250 years to erect this monument to its founder in 1955 -- and even then it needed some cash from the French government and a kick-in-the-pants from the sesquicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase to make it happen.

Also see: Quirky Monuments of New Orleans

The Man Who Built New Orleans

Address:
400 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA
Directions:
In the French Quarter, near the river, in the V where Decatur and N. Peters Sts meet just north of Conti St.
Admission:
Free
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Nearby Offbeat Places

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum: LeechesNew Orleans Pharmacy Museum: Leeches, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.
Old Man RiverOld Man River, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.
Cabildo Museum - Death Mask, LeechesCabildo Museum - Death Mask, Leeches, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Mardi Gras World, New Orleans, LA - 1 mi.

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June 5, 2020

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