Louisiana, also known as Bayou State, is home to about 4.6 million people. The largest city is the New Orleans urban cultural center on the Mississippi River.
The southern US state of Louisiana is known as the Pelican State or Bayou State. The region on the Gulf of Mexico is home to around 4.6 million people and covers an area of around 135,000 km². The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge with around 230,000 residents. The Mississippi River flows through Louisiana and flows into the Gulf of Mexico here. Louisiana’s extensive riverine regions make for numerous wetlands, especially the forested bayous after which the state is named. The climate of the US state is subtropical – with high precipitation and not atypical hurricanes that reach the region from the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana – The History of the Bayou State
As early as the middle of the 16th century, the Spaniard Hernando Soto explored the Mississippi area in what is now Louisiana. After the discoveries of the French Robert Cavelier de la Salle, Louisiana became a French colony from 1699, which owes its name to the French Sun King Louis XIV. Against the French colonial rule, the local Natchez braced themselves in 1729 in the Natchez uprising, which led to the destruction of Fort Rosalie. In 1803 Louisiana was acquired by the United States from Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1861 Louisiana played a central role in the establishment of the so-called Confederation. Louisiana became economically relevant in 1901 through the discovery of rich oil and gas deposits near Jennings, Today the US state is the second largest producer of this category of raw materials in the United States. Central branches of the economy in Louisiana are also agriculture with products such as soybeans, cotton, rice and sweet potatoes.
Louisiana – largest cities and major landmarks
The cultural center and largest city of Louisiana is New Orleans with its over 390,000 residents and a metropolitan area of over 1.2 million. This is followed by the capital Baton Rouge, Shreveport (about 200,000 residents) and Lafayette (120,000). Louisiana does not have any national parks, but with its famous jazz culture and historical sights, New Orleans (along with the natural bayous) is a central tourist attraction of the Bayou State.
The climate in the “Pelican State” is characterized by warm to humid summers, whereas winters are quite mild. Many tourists come here in summer because they want to enjoy the warmth and great weather on the Gulf of Mexico. In winter, however, you shouldn’t rely on the mild temperatures, because every now and then it can get quite cold here. Hurricanes must also be expected in Louisiana. As in some other states, spring and autumn are recommended as the best travel time.
Hardly any other state combines as many cultures, traditions, customs and habits as Louisiana. Even today the cult of voodoo is still very popular. Louisiana is a state that exudes pure joie de vivre and infects everyone with its temperament. Even if Louisiana is considered prudish and bourgeois, at the traditional carnival, Mardi Gras, everyone loses their shame and celebrates wildly. That may also be the reason why such a lively music genre as jazz could develop in this region of all places, it is not for nothing that Louisiana and especially New Orleans are called the “cradle of jazz”.
Louisiana is a state of incomparable beauty and grandiose landscapes with an abundance of places worth seeing. A trip on the paddle steamer on the Mississippi, the Ol ‘Man River is just as much a must, as is a visit to a traditional pub with live music, of course jazz.
Largest Counties in Louisiana by Area
According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Louisiana are listed as below:
|1||Plaquemines Parish||6,291 km2|
|2||Terrebonne Parish||5,387 km2|
|3||Cameron Parish||5,004 km2|
|4||St. Bernard Parish||4,646 km2|
|5||Vermilion Parish||3,983 km2|
|6||Lafourche Parish||3,812 km2|
|7||Rapides Parish||3,528 km2|
|8||Vernon Parish||3,473 km2|
|9||Natchitoches Parish||3,364 km2|
|10||Beauregard Parish||3,020 km2|
|11||St. Tammany Parish||2,911 km2|
|12||Calcasieu Parish||2,833 km2|
|13||Iberia Parish||2,670 km2|
|14||Sabine Parish||2,621 km2|
|15||Winn Parish||2,479 km2|
|16||St. Landry Parish||2,432 km2|
|17||Caddo Parish||2,427 km2|
|18||Union Parish||2,344 km2|
|19||DeSoto Parish||2,318 km2|
|20||Bossier Parish||2,246 km2|
|21||Avoyelles Parish||2,243 km2|
|22||Tangipahoa Parish||2,132 km2|
|23||Bienville Parish||2,129 km2|
|24||St. Martin Parish||2,116 km2|
|25||Morehouse Parish||2,085 km2|
|26||Claiborne Parish||1,989 km2|
|27||Allen Parish||1,984 km2|
|28||Concordia Parish||1,940 km2|
|29||Catahoula Parish||1,914 km2|
|30||Livingston Parish||1,821 km2|
|31||Evangeline Parish||1,761 km2|
|32||Washington Parish||1,751 km2|
|33||Grant Parish||1,720 km2|
|34||LaSalle Parish||1,717 km2|
|35||Jefferson Davis Parish||1,707 km2|
|36||Acadia Parish||1,704 km2|
|37||Iberville Parish||1,691 km2|
|38||Madison Parish||1,686 km2|
|39||Jefferson Parish||1,663 km2|
|40||Tensas Parish||1,660 km2|
|41||Franklin Parish||1,647 km2|
|42||Ouachita Parish||1,639 km2|
|43||Webster Parish||1,593 km2|
|44||St. Mary Parish||1,585 km2|
|45||Pointe Coupee Parish||1,531 km2|
|46||Jackson Parish||1,502 km2|
|47||Richland Parish||1,461 km2|
|48||Caldwell Parish||1,401 km2|
|49||Lincoln Parish||1,222 km2|
|50||East Baton Rouge Parish||1,220 km2|
|51||East Feliciana Parish||1,181 km2|
|52||East Carroll Parish||1,145 km2|
|53||West Feliciana Parish||1,103 km2|
|54||St. Charles Parish||1,062 km2|
|55||St. Helena Parish||1,059 km2|
|56||Red River Parish||1,041 km2|
|57||Assumption Parish||943 km2|
|58||West Carroll Parish||932 km2|
|59||Orleans Parish||906 km2|
|60||St. John the Baptist Parish||901 km2|
|61||Ascension Parish||785 km2|
|62||Lafayette Parish||699 km2|
|63||St. James Parish||668 km2|
|64||West Baton Rouge Parish||526 km2|
In the southeastern United States, in the state of Louisiana. Enclosed to the north by Lake Pontchartrain and south by the Mississippi, New Orleans looks like a sickle, which is why it is also known as “The Crescent City”. New Orleans is probably the city with the most nicknames in the USA: “The Big Easy”, “The City that care forgot”, “America’s European Masterpiece”, “The cradle of jazz” and “NOLA”.
Before the once marshy area drained and became the city of New Orleans, the area had long been inhabited by indigenous people. The first French explorers and researchers arrived in the area at the end of the 17th century. La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans), named after Philippe d’Orléans, was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne.
After the end of the civil war in 1865, African-Americans took the chance and bought musical instruments from the former army bands at very low prices when the troops were dissolved. This gave rise to so-called street bands, which initially played the usual European marching band music at weddings, funerals and all other festivities. At some point these bands took advantage of other influences that formed the basis for the development of Afro-American forms of music, such as the first form of jazz – archaic jazz.
New Orleans’ best known and oldest festival, Mardi Gras, is French and means “fat Tuesday”; what is meant is Shrove Tuesday. The Mardi Gras season starts 12 days before Lent and ends on Ash Wednesday. At Mardi Gras, the whole city can be found at celebrations and parades – mostly in disguise.
Another specialty are the costumes of the Mardi Gras Indians. A myth of the Mardi Gras Indians says that they came about because Afro-American slaves fleeing slavery fled to Indian tribes and were taken in. The finished Mardi Gras costume takes 6-9 months to complete, weighs a lot and costs thousands of dollars. It can only be put on in the year it was made, so New Orleans has an extensive collection of these costumes.
Location: Louisiana, in the southern United States
Area: 907 km², of which 467.6 km² is land
Nicknames: The Big Easy, Birthplace of Jazz, Mardi Gras City
Famous People: Reese Witherspoon (actress), Truman Capote (writer), Sam Trammell (actor)