The French Quarter or Vieux Carré is the area of the city's original settlement established in 1718 by French explorer, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne. Destroyed by a devastating fire in 1788, 90% of the original Quarter had to be rebuilt. Since this time, it has gained a worldwide reputation for its architecture, jazz musicians, and Mardi Gras revelry. Lined with lively and picturesque buildings, the narrow streets invite exploration. The architecture is a distinctive mixture of French and Spanish architecture featuring intricate wrought iron balconies. Today, the sidewalks provide a stage for the Quarter’s ubiquitous street musicians and Jazz is an integral part of the sounds of the Big Easy. Laissez les bon temps rouler!