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OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
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The Cabildo: Two Centuries of Louisiana History

Introduction Native Americans Colonial Louisiana The Louisiana Purchase Territory to Statehood Battle of New Orleans
Antebellum Louisiana I Antebellum Louisiana II Antebellum Louisiana III The Civil War Reconstruction I Reconstruction II


Welcome to the Cabildo, the site of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer ceremonies in 1803 and our State's most important historical building. Several important historical events took place within the Cabildo and it has been visited by five American Presidents.

The emphasis throughout the Cabildo exhibit is on the people of Louisiana, the many diverse ethnic groups who came here and who collectively comprise Louisianians today.

Visit the Cabildo when you are in New Orleans and we hope you will visit our other museums as well.

What is the Cabildo?
The town council first met in its new hall, which it called the Casa Capitular (Capitol House), in 1799 and continued to meet there until Louisiana became an American territory. They met in the room called the Sala Capitular (Capitol Room), which was the site for the Louisiana Purchase transfers in 1803 and remained the principal meeting room for the new American city council until the 1850s. The Baroness Micaëla Almonester de Pontalba, the daughter of Almonester y Roxas and herself an infamous figure in Louisiana history, proposed renovations to the Cabildo in the 1840s to match new construction on neighboring land she had inherited from her father. At this time, an entire third story was added to the building, and massive cast-iron gates were erected at the main entrance.

Conflagration of 1788Historic American Building Survey
Detail of Pilié cast-iron gates
Proctor, 1934