Cities of the Dead

One of the most popular things to see in New Orleans is certainly the above ground Cemeteries. There are a total of 47 above ground cemeteries around the greater New Orleans area, so there is plenty to visit if that is your thing.  We used to bury people in the ground in the early days, but that didn't work out so well and in 1789 we established the first above ground cemetery in New Orleans St. Louis Cemetery #1. 

   This is a Catholic Cemetery as most of the early residents of New Orleans were Catholics. We still have a large population of Catholics here. There were several burial grounds in the French Quarter prior to building the cemetery, now one of them is a block covered in houses! One of the most haunted blocks in the French Quarter, no doubt!  St. Louis Cemetery #1 is still an active cemetery with burials every 10 days or so on average. When you take a tour through the cemetery you will notice many many abandoned tombs, however because a lot of the early families are no longer here in New Orleans.

   St. Louis Cemetery #1 used to have many many colored tombs, now you will find just a few that aren't white washed. Because the  French Quarter was a predominately Creole neighborhood with many colorful houses, the cemetery looked very much the same.  There are thousands upon thousands of people buried inside the walls of this cemetery and their personal stories will help you to understand the history of New Orleans.  The reasons you probably came to visit New Orleans have their roots inside these old cemeteries. Be sure you take the time to come visit. 

This beautiful photo is of a tomb we refer to as the Faux Laveau. It was taken by a guest that was on a tour this week. Her name is Emily Bauman. Thank you Emily for sending the fabulous photos!