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State Capital Building in Louisiana

The Wonderful World of Louisiana

The State of Louisiana is located in the southern region of the United States. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and the largest city is New Orleans. This is the only state that is divided into parishes, which is when the local governments are equal to the counties. By population the largest parish is Jefferson Parish and the largest parish by land area is Cameron Parish. Louisiana is also called the New France and was named after Louis XIV who was the King of France from 1643-1715. It was when Rene-Robert Cavelier claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he then named it La Louisiane which means "Land of Louis". Louisiana was a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain of the Spanish Empire. The United States claimed the territory in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase from France.

Louisiana was originally inhabited by Native Americans when the European explorers first arrived in the 16th century. Some of the tribes that had inhabited Louisiana included the Atakapa, the Boocana, the Opelousa, the Acolpissa, the Tangipahoa, the Tunica and the Koroa. Most of the Central and northwest portions of Louisiana was the home to the Caddo nation and the Natchitoches condeferacy. The very first explorer to come Louisiana was a European in the year 1528. It was in 1682 when Robert Cavelier de La Salle, the French explorer, named this region Louisiana after France's King Louis XIV.

Louisiana has a very rich diversity of people including the original Indian inhabitants with the French, Spanish, English, German, Acadians, West Indians, Africans, Irish, an Italians. It was the Spanish that built most of the still standing structures in the French Quarters in New Orleans. In the earlier years, Louisiana was known as a trading and financial center but the fertility of the land made it one of the most richest regions in America with indigo first then sugar and cotton. The planters in Louisiana were known as some of the wealthiest men in America. The planters first used the soil for indigo and tobacco but then came the cotton and sugar cane. It was the sugar and cotton that made the great mansions possible for some people. After the Civil War the economy was shattered but the state continued to be a powerful agricultural area. The states bird is the brown pelican which are most famous for their large bill and the lower part has a pouch that can be greatly extended. Louisiana's state tree is the bald cypress which has has different shapes and the bark is a reddish brown and very thin. The state flower for Louisiana is the large creamy white bloom of the magnolia which has an unusual fragrant.

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The Louisiana Arts & Science Museum

 Louisiana Attractions

Baton Rouge Zoo is a very popular and has many different types of animals such as fish, reptiles, and amphibians. There are over 1,800 animals in the Baton Rouge Zoo. There is the L'aquarium de Louisiane and The Otter Pond also at the Baton Rouge Zoo. Of course visitors need to go to Parrot Paradise with some of the most rarest and colorful birds from the tropic areas. Then there is the kids zoo along with the Cypress Bayou Railroad for families to enjoy as well. The Flamingo Cove and Giants of the Islands exhibits include Chilean flamingos and Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises. The KidsZoo features hands on farm animals and a brand new Safari Playground.

The Hilltop Arboretum sits on about 14 acres of land in Baton Rouge and it was first purchased after World War II by Emory Smith and his wife, Annette. It was first just a working farm and country retreat. The visitors can go along the winding paths that take them to the bamboo grove, century old oak trees, the "Cathedral" where trees hang like a canopy from a green protective room and the "Emory Smith" magnolia.

The Louisiana Arts and Science Museum is held in a historic railroad depot right along the Mississippi River. It offers educational entertainment for many people of all different ages. The art galleries part of the museum feature changing fine art exhibitions and selections from the permanent collection. There is a part designed just for children which is the interactive art and science galleries which include creative and enlightening fun that can be done in many different ways. There is also the Ancient Egypt Gallery which holds ancient artifacts and a Ptolemaic-era mummy that lays in a re-created rock-cut tomb. Visitors can't forget to stop by the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium for the sky shows, large format films, visual music shows, and galleries devoted to space science. This is a museum for the whole family to enjoy.

The Old State Capitol is located in Baton Rouge and is known as a Gothic-Revival castle. This castle was built in 1847 and burnt down by the Union Army. In 1882 it was repaired and then served at the state capitol right up until the year of 1932. Today the building serves as the Center for Political and Governmental History. Some of the exhibits include The Huey Long Assassination Exhibit, The Governors' Exhibit, The Campaign and Elections Exhibit, and The Louisiana Purchase Exhibit.

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The Cane River National Heritage in Louisiana

Things to do in Louisiana

The Cane River National Heritage Area is a spot known for historic agriculture landscapes, Creole architecture, and multi cultural legacy. This region is said to be sitting on the boundary of French and Spanish realms of the New World. It features many beautiful historic sites of a unique blend of cultures that reflect the legacy. Included in this region is the seven national historic landmarks, three state historic sites, and 24 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In total it is 35 miles long and most of that is privately owned but are still open to the public.

The St. Louis Cathedral is known as one of New Orleans most notable landmarks. This building has three steeples that tower over its neighbors, the Cabildo and the Presbytere. People in New Orleans have been worshipping the churches on this site since 1727. In 1720 was when this Cathedral was established as a Parish by the King of France. There is a list of people who were buried under the Cathedral before it was built which is the reason why it is so worshipped.
Bloody Mary's New Orleans Tour is owned and operated by Mary Milan. She is known as Bloody Mary due to her career. Her other names consist of Mother, Wife, Shaman, Mambo, Voodoo Queen, Knight, Healer, Lightworker, Historian, Psychic, Teacher, Paranormal photographer and Celebrity VIP tour guide to the stars. She does Ghost Hunts, Voodoo Rituals, Event and Party Planning, Cemetery weddings, Psychic Readings, and more. She is known as a native to the city and when booking online visitors will only get their tour with her since she is the only one to do the tours.

The Garden District in New Orleans is a neighborhood. It was once just a bunch of different plantations, then sold off into parcels to wealthy Americans. It was originally just a few houses on each block surrounded by a large garden. The George Washington Cable House and the Commander's Place were both famous landmarks in the Garden District. There were a couple 19th century mansions and "gingerbread" decorated late Victorian houses. This Garden District is mainly known for its architecture more than the gardens.

The New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Tour is a tour that takes visitors on a 3 hour ride through New Orleans and explains what happened. The visitors on the tour will learn the history of the original city called the French Quarters and why it was built along the Mississippi River. Then the tour takes visitors past an actual levee that "breached" and to see the devastation that actually happened when hundreds of thousands of U.S. Residents were displaced due to this man made disaster. People will be absolutely amazed at all the damage this storm did and how many people it injured and worse. This is a tour visitors do not want to miss if they are interested in the history along with the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.