New Orleans Sights



Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Review

The striking anvil no longer sounds in this ancient building, the oldest bar in the Quarter. You'll hear only the clinking of glasses at this well-loved watering hole, a favorite for locals and tourists from all walks of life. Legend has it that the pirate Jean Lafitte and his cronies operated a blacksmith shop here as a front for their vast illicit trade in contraband. The building, dating from 1772 and thus a rare survivor of the 18th-century French Quarter fires, is interesting as one of the few remaining examples of soft bricks reinforced with timber, a construction form used by early settlers. A fresh application of exterior plaster protects the soft brick and brightens a facade that long stood weather-beaten. Despite the addition of a few flat-screen TVs, a drink here just after sundown, when the place is lit only by candles, lets you slip back in time for an hour or so.

Updated: 05-07-2013

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