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Lee Circle is a traffic circle in the warehouse district of New Orleans. It is dominated by a large monument that honors general Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate army during the Civil War.
Lee Circle, New Orleans
Lee Circle

Statue of general Robert E. Lee, New Orleans
Statue of Robert E. Lee

Civil War Museum
Civil War Museum


Lee Circle was originally created in 1807 as part of a grand - but mostly unrealized - plan by architect Barthélémy Lafon to develop a new neighborhood. At the time it was known as the Place du Tivoli (Tivoli Square) and encircled by the water of the Tivoli Canal.

In 1877, just twelve years after the Civil War, it was rededicated as Lee Circle in honor of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Robert E. Lee Monument

The monument honoring the general was inaugurated in 1884. It shows a 12 ft (4m) statue of general Lee on top of a 60ft (18m) tall Doric column which is set on a rectangular base built on a mound at the center of the traffic circle. Four wide stairways flanked by decorative urns lead to the monument.

Lee, who led the Confederate troops during the Civil War against the northern Union army from 1862 until the capitulation of the Confederates in 1865, is shown standing towards the north, as if to defy his adversaries.
The statue was sculpted by Alexander Doyle while John Roy created the marble column.

Museum District

Lee Circle is a great starting point for a visit to many of the nearby museums and galleries. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Civil War Museum are nearby and the expansive World War II Museum is just a block away. Also in the vicinity is the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center.

St. Charles Avenue at Howard Avenue
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