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General City Promotional Copy

Welcome to Louisville: a global, compassionate community full of Southern hospitality.

Louisville: A Compassionate City


In 2011, Mayor Greg Fischer signed a resolution committing to a Compassionate Louisville campaign. This designates Louisville as an international compassionate city and makes us the largest city in America with this distinction.

We’re also a city that prides itself on its Southern hospitality… a place that’s authentically welcoming and inclusive. That’s why Travel + Leisure named Louisville “One of the Friendliest Cities in America.” Our locals refer to it as #LouisvilleLove. We know you’ll come here and experience it for yourself.

History

Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778 and named for King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War. His king’s family symbol, the fleur de lis, was long ago adopted by Louisville as the city’s emblem. The stylized lily is seen all over town from architectural embellishments and gift items to street signs and business logos. It is the centerpiece of the city’s Official Seal as well as a symbol of hometown pride among locals.

The city has been home to a number of residents who changed the face of American history. President Zachary Taylor was reared in surrounding Jefferson County and Second Lt. F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I, was frequent presence at the bar in the famous Seelbach Hotel, immortalized in the novel The Great Gatsby. Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, was born in Louisville and won six Golden Glove tournaments in Kentucky.

City of Parks

Louisville Kentucky is known as the City of Parks for good reason. Louisville's park system is the last designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the 'Father of American Landscape Architecture,' and one of only five such systems across the country. Known nationally as the defining park system of his career, it stands today as one of his best-preserved works, reflecting the genius of Olmsted's vision.

Flagship Parks


Cherokee Park
(Willow Avenue and Cherokee Parkway)

Designed by Olmsted, it is characterized by long winding roads opening to beautiful vistas and large open spaces set in the valley of Beargrass Creek.

Iroquois Park
(Southern Parkway & Taylor Boulevard)

Noted by early park users as Louisville’s own “Yellowstone”, the Olmsted designs take advantage of the rugged terrain and the drama of the mature woodlands and scenic overlooks.

Shawnee Park
(Southwestern Parkway & Broadway)

The Olmsted plan used the low-lying riverfront setting and topography of the land as inspiration for the park’s design. The two principal features of the park are the concourses that afford extensive views and the expansive Great Lawn.

Waterfront Park

An 85-acre municipal park bordering Louisville’s downtown and the Ohio River. The park includes The Big Four® Bridge, a pedestrian bridge linking Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana over the river. Built as a railroad bridge in 1895, and decommissioned in the 1960s, the bridge opened to the public in February 2013 and averages more than 1.5 million visits per year.