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Fort St. Jean Baptiste, Natchitoches

4.4
#4 of 14 in Things to do in Natchitoches
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, or Fort des Natchitoches, in Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA, is a replica of an early French fort based upon the original blueprints of 1716 by Sieur Charles Claude Dutisné and company. The settlement which became the town of Natchitoches was founded in 1714 by French Canadian Louis Antoine Juchereau de St. Denis as the first permanent European settlement in the lands later encompassed by the Louisiana Purchase. In 1722, Juchereau de St. Denis in 1722 became commandant of Fort St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches. The fort was devised as a trading and military outpost to counter any Spanish incursions into French territory. Soon it became a center of economic significance, particularly with neighboring Caddo tribes.After 1764, Fort St. Jean was abandoned, with the transfer of Louisiana (New France) to Spain. It was rebuilt, but its actual location is unknown.Today Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site is a point of interest within the Cane River National Heritage Area. It is also host to living history re-enactments of what Life in the fort was like in the 1750s Add Fort St. Jean Baptiste to your Natchitoches travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Natchitoches trip planner.
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Fort St. Jean Baptiste reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
178 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Very nice small museum and friendly re-enactors greeted us and told us about the fort and it’s history. A little interesting gem of history no one can even see from the road. The original fort has... 
    Very nice small museum and friendly re-enactors greeted us and told us about the fort and it’s history. A little interesting gem of history no one can even see from the road. The original fort has...  more »
  • This was a well rebuilt replication of the original fort. The person that was at the site on the day we were there could answer all our questions, and the displays were very interesting. 
    This was a well rebuilt replication of the original fort. The person that was at the site on the day we were there could answer all our questions, and the displays were very interesting.  more »
Google
  • You enter through the museum, just off Jefferson St. There is a $4 entry fee, but this includes the guided tour of the fort. The fort itself is a reproduction, built in the '70s from a 1700s map of the original. The reproduction is a few hundred yards from the original site of the fort, which is now private homes and Jefferson Street. You can opt for a scenic stroll down to the fort, or take a ride in the golf cart with the guide. Jeremy, the guide was very informative and congenial. He kept asking if we had any questions, but his presentation answered questions I hadn't thought of! A great historical presentation, with the latest updates from archaeologists and historians. I really enjoyed the short video of the fort's history. This was two hours well spent!
  • The people running the visitor center and fort were very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and professional. My wife has cancer and was unable to walk to the fort so they have a golfcart and drove us to the fort and back. Museum was very informative. Enjoyed the time spent there.

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