Historic District Shopping, Natchitoches

4.3
#2 of 14 in Things to do in Natchitoches
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Natchitoches Historic District, also known as Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, is a historic district encompassing the heart of Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest permanent European settlement in what is now Louisiana, and the oldest permanent European settlement in the wider geographic area involved in the Louisiana Purchase. It was founded by the French in 1714. "Natchitoches" is pronounced /'nækətəʃ/ (NAK-ə-təsh); the name was for the indigenous people of the area. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1984.
The city of Natchitoches, when founded, was located on the banks at the head of navigation of the Red River in northern Louisiana, roughly midway between Alexandria and Shreveport. It was founded in 1714 by French explorers, who were seeking to firmly establish French claims to the territory against those of New Spain. As such, it eventually developed into a significant trading center, with goods flowing among the French, Spanish, and area Native American tribes. The city's oldest streets are laid out parallel to the river, and the long-distance road network was expanded after French Louisiana was ceded to Spain in 1763. The city remained an important regional trading center until the second quarter of the 19th century, when the Red River's course shifted eastward, leaving the downtown flanking the old channel, now known as the Cane River. This put an end to major development in the city, and helped preserve much of its 18th-century character.
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  • This little town is one of the cutest I have ever seen. It is easily walkable and chock full of interesting shops. The river front park is right there as well and is very attractive to sit and take a....  more »
  • It was such a beautiful day when we visited. It was nice to walk around to the shops and look at the beautiful river and majestic oak trees. The area was filled with beautiful pots of tulips snd...  more »

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