Pirates Alley

Between Chartres Street and Royal Street in the French Quarter
New Orleans, LA

Submitted by: JK Schwehm

A pedestrian walkway between historic buildings, The Saint Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo.

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Why It Works

Pirates Alley is a cobblestone pedestrian walkway about one city block long that was once an old street between the Cabildo, or Spanish Government House and the Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. Historically the Old Spanish Jail fronted on the street so prisoners were always lined up there. In modern times artists would set up along the Alley to sell paintings. Today there are several businesses fronting the Alley and some artists still set up on special occasions. There is supposed to be a ghost walking along the alley in the early morning. And now a lot of weddings take place in the Alley as a tradition from the first wedding there in 1815.

What Makes Pirates Alley a Great Place?

The Alley opens next to the Cathedral on Chartres Street and goes out to Royal Street. It can be reached by taxi or horse drawn carriage via a turn at Chartres and St. Ann near a Hagen Daz Ice Cream Parlor there. Most people use it as a walkway to go from Jackson Square to the shops on Royal Street. Some tour groups pass through. People eat at the Cafe there too.

It is mainly a walk way with some small businesses. Usually the businesses clean up the Alley as at times, it gets littered. The City on a few occasions has equipment parked in the alley, and that should stop. It also needs a few repairs to the cobblestones.

Tourists walk through, artists sell paintings, and couples get married here.

It is a friendly safe place, as long as the businesses are open. Some tour groups walk through also.

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