Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve

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New Orleans, LA
United States
Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve

Established in 1978 and named for a French American pirate and privateer, this National Park encompasses more than 30 square miles and comprises six sites spread throughout southern Louisiana: the 23,000-acre Barataria Preserve in Marrero; the 0.66-square-mile Vieux Carré in New Orleans; the 143-acre Chalmette National Historical Park and Cemetery; the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette; the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice; and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux. While the other sites are largely recognized for their cultural significance, the Barataria Preserve makes up a portion of one of the country’s largest estuaries. Located six miles southeast of New Orleans, the preserve features three distinct zones (hardwood forest on levee ridges, backslope swamp, and freshwater marsh between levees), is crisscrossed by many bayous and canals, and contains an environmental education complex, picnic areas, trails, and boardwalks. Chalmette National Historical Park and Cemetery is situated across the Mississippi River northeast of the Barataria Preserve. The cemetery contains over 14,000 headstones and is located on the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, adjacent to Chalmette Battlefield. The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, the Vieux Carré occupies a crescent in the Mississippi River at one of the highest points in the city. The three Acadian cultural centers are located west of New Orleans. In 1966 the Chalmette Battlefield and the Barataria Preserve were both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Vieux Carré was designated a National Historic Landmark District.