Timeless Traditions: Exploring the Historical Clocks of New Orleans

New Orleans is a city steeped in history and culture. From its vibrant music scene to its unique cuisine, the Big Easy is a one-of-a-kind destination for travelers looking to experience something truly special. One aspect of the city’s history that often goes overlooked is its collection of historical clocks. These timepieces, some dating back centuries, offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and the traditions that have shaped this iconic city.

The Old Ursuline Convent Clock

One of the oldest and most iconic clocks in New Orleans can be found at the Old Ursuline Convent. The clock, which dates back to the 1730s, is believed to be the oldest working clock in the entire United States. It was originally brought to New Orleans from France and has been meticulously maintained and preserved over the centuries. Visitors to the convent can marvel at this remarkable timepiece and learn about its unique history.

The Pontalba Buildings Clock

Another notable clock in New Orleans can be found at the Pontalba Buildings, which flank Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. These historic buildings are adorned with ornate clock faces that have become a beloved symbol of the city. The clocks, which were installed in the mid-1800s, have been meticulously restored in recent years, allowing them to continue keeping time in the heart of the city.

The Custom House Clock

Located on Canal Street, the Custom House Clock is a striking feature of the city’s skyline. This grand timepiece was installed in the late 1800s and has been a fixture of downtown New Orleans ever since. The clock’s elegant design and meticulous craftsmanship reflect the city’s rich history and commitment to preserving its traditions for future generations to enjoy.


New Orleans is a city with a rich history and a deep appreciation for tradition. Its collection of historical clocks stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of this unique destination. From the Old Ursuline Convent to the Pontalba Buildings and the Custom House, these timepieces offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and the timeless traditions that continue to shape the city today.


Q: Are all of the historical clocks in New Orleans open to the public?

A: While some of the clocks, such as the one at the Old Ursuline Convent, may be viewed by the public during specified hours, others, like the clock at the Custom House, can be seen from outside the building.

Q: Are there any guided tours that focus specifically on the historical clocks of New Orleans?

A: While there may not be specific tours dedicated solely to the historical clocks of New Orleans, many guided tours of the city’s historic sites and neighborhoods often include stops at these iconic timepieces.

Q: Are there any efforts underway to ensure the preservation of these historical clocks?

A: Yes, there are ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain the historical clocks of New Orleans. Restoration projects and maintenance efforts help ensure that these important pieces of the city’s history continue to be enjoyed by future generations.


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