With New Orleans, Louisiana, steeped in history and rich in tradition, offers one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the USA. But that’s by far not all that there is in Louisiana, which is criss-crossed by swamps and canals (known as bayous). To this day, the state has retained its Creole heritage. Many food critics call Cajun cuisine the best in America because of the variety of flavors and spices. Caribbean influences are present here as well as European ones. Whether it’s spicy stews or seafood soups, the unique “amalgam” makes Louisiana a culinary sensation.
In addition to the fun-loving culture of the Cajun Country, attractions also include the unique mansions of the rich plantation owners along the Mississippi. Cotton, rice and sugar were grown here on the “Old Man River”. In Plantation Alley there are still around 40 of the once 350 country residences of the richest US citizens of the time. Most of them have been rededicated as museums and convey the flair of days long gone.
According to usaers, Louisiana also has a lot to offer in terms of music history and has even appeared twice as a protagonist of new styles. New Orleans is considered the birthplace of jazz, which originated here around 1890. Jazz still plays a major role today, with more conservative currents predominating. At the beginning of the 20th century, another musical genre developed in Louisiana: the fast, danceable zydeco, like jazz, arose from the coming together of different cultures. The most important instruments play the accordion and the washboard (Frottoir). Sometimes violins and guitars are also used. In recent years, zydeco has merged with rhythm & blues and continued to establish itself in the southern United States.
How closely Louisiana is still connected to French culture is shown not only by the place names, many of which are still reminiscent of the time of the settlers who lived here from the 16th to the 19th century, but also by the idiom. An estimated three million people speak “Creole” – a language with French roots. The state itself also bears its name after the French King Louis XIV. In 1803 the territory was bought by the United States and in 1812 it became a state.
Louisiana is nicknamed the “Pelican State” after the national bird, the brown pelican. The nickname “Sportsman’s Paradise” can be found on Louisiana’s license plates. This in turn refers to the many opportunities to fish and hunt in the bayous and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Location and size
The 134,264 km² large Louisiana is located in the south-east of the USA. In terms of area, it is about one and a half times the size of Austria, making it the 32nd largest US state. Louisiana is bordered by Texas to the west, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. On the northern border – towards the state of Arkansas – is the highest elevation: the 163 m high Driskill Mountain, a southern foothill of the up to 800 m high Ouachita Mountains. Some rivers rise in the hills and then flow into the Mississippi, whose delta in turn makes up a large part of the state. Much of Louisiana’s land consists of wetlands.
4.62 million people live in Louisiana. The largest city is New Orleans with around 391,000 inhabitants. 1.2 million people live in the New Orleans-Metairie-Bogalusa area. The capital Baton Rouge has a total of 221,000 inhabitants. Louisiana’s population is 62.4% White, 32.1% African American, and around 1.8% Asian. The former indigenous people make up only about 0.58% of the total population. Until 1916, the official language was French for almost 200 years, only then did English become the official language. Today almost everyone speaks English, albeit sometimes with a heavy accent.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), located 11 miles west of downtown, is the state’s busiest airport. Numerous domestic American airlines fly to the airport, from Germany Condor flies directly to New Orleans via FRA. International passengers frequently fly to Louisiana via Atlanta, Georgia.
Louisiana has a subtropical climate with very hot and humid summers and mild winters. In midsummer, temperatures often reach 30°C and even more, while in winter temperatures usually hover around a pleasant 15°C. However, the winter nights and mornings are noticeably cool. Although most of the precipitation falls in late summer, rains are common throughout the year. Heavy rains during the June through September hurricane season in the Gulf Coast cause flooding.
|Average temperatures in New Orleans in °C|