History & Culture
St. Bernard Parish is New Orleans' most historic neighbor in a variety of ways. Both historically and culturally St. Bernard has a unique story to tell. Famously, it was the site of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The battlefield, operated by the National Park Service, is open daily for visits to the interpretive center and park ranger chats. St. Bernard Parish (San Bernardo) was originally settled in 1778 by Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands who were recruited by the Spanish Empire which currently had control of New Orleans. These settlers, known as Isleños, brought with them their own culture, history, food, language, and customs. They were a people of the land, hunting and fishing and working on the many sugar plantations in St. Bernard Parish. Over many generations, and through great difficulties, they have succeeded in preserving their heritage and their language and the decendents of the original settlers still manintain a community in the parish today. Visitors can experience the contributions and way of life of the Islenos at Los Islenos Museum & Village on Bayou Road, open Wednesday - Sunday for tours.