The cultural tapestry of Mobile is colorful and 300+ years old. While coined the “city of flags” for the 6 different flags that flew over her, not every culture that influenced Mobile is represented by a flag. Mobile’s DNA is unique and can be seen and felt throughout the city. From industry, architecture, cuisine & tradition, Mobile’s history tells a story of economic development, innovation and a fusion of cultures.
300+ Years of History
With a 300+ year history, Mobile has a rich heritage. The French established a permanent presence in the Bay Area in 1702. Mobile is the oldest permanent settlement in the original Colony of French Louisiana and the first capitol. Mobile became a major coastal port and why she later became known as city of flags representing the 6 flags that have flown over her: French, British, Spanish, Republic of Alabama, the Confederacy and the U.S. History lovers flock to Mobile to explore the military history, forts, African American heritage, dozens of historic districts and the 6,000 buildings and homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places (350 of which are antebellum).
However, not every culture is represented in the flags that flew over the city. Mobile’s African American Heritage is woven deep in the cultural tapestry of Mobile. The streets of Mobile are peppered with over 40 commemorative markers identifying significant historical spots, contributions, and Civil Rights advocates that were integral in the desegregation of the city. An international spotlight has found Mobile with the recent discovery of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to enter the US, off the city’s shores. Africatown, a community settled by the survivors of the illegal import, is buzzing with energy as new light is being shed on the community’s history with this landmark discovery. It’s not just Mobile’s history, it’s world history.
Modern day Mobile sings a testament to the cultures that have merged within the city. From the cuisine, architecture and traditions, her history is something to be seen, heard, tasted and experienced.
Taste: French, Spanish and Creole roots, Mobile is where some of the world’s best chefs call home and where new and upcoming flock. A melting pot of culture and flavour, Mobile is where southern classics are infused with culinary innovation.
See: Architectural and martial elements of Mobile’s long colonial history survive, be it of the British, Spanish, or French tenures. Africatown, a community settled by the survivors of the Clotilda, is steeped in African heritage and tradition.
Hear: A walk down Mobile’s Dauphin Street or any number of side street nooks will find a host of venues that are the home to a vibrant music community providing inspiration for even the most astute music fan, critic, and traveler.
Experience: Carnival, the extended Mardi Gras season, is Mobile, Alabama’s, greatest living tradition. First introduced to the United States in Mobile by the French in the early 18th Century, Mobile is the original home to Mardi Gras in the US. The celebrations are increasing grander and more diverse with each passing year.