Does a tour through the “City of the dead” perk your interest? New Orleans is known for the way locals use over-ground mausoleums to entomb the dead, instead of the traditional below-ground burial used to other states.
If you’re visiting “the Big Easy,” then you have to visit the cities cemeteries, it’s an eerie experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Take a tour in New Orleans through these sanctuaries of the dead.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 3
The cemetery is for the artists. St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, found on Esplanade Avenue close to City Park, Bayou St. John, and the historic New Orleans Museum of Art. This cemetery is one of the city’s largest and home to the final resting place of Storyville photographer E. J. Bellocq.
Take a tour through the cemetery, or wander around yourself and gaze in wonder at the Masonic designs and detailed Greek Orthodox vaults. Accessing this site is possible through the French Quarter via the #91 Jackson-Esplanade bus line.
Finding a cemetery in New Orleans isn’t as challenging as you think. Hop on one of the Canal St. streetcars marked “Cemeteries” and ride it to the end of the line where you’ll find Metairie Cemetery. After jumping off the tram, take a short walk to the original entrance of the site, at the corner of Pontchartrain Blvd. and Metairie Road.
Metairie Cemetery features the final resting places of legendary New Orleans musicians and Al Hirt and Louis Prima. You can visit the graves of the founders of Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, and Brennan’s restaurants, as well as another local restaurateur Al Copeland, the original creator of Popeye’s Fried Chicken.
Visit the “Weeping Angel” statue at the Hyams family tomb, and marvel over the pyramid-shaped vault before moving onto your final location.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
One of the most impressive and well-kept burial grounds in the city of New Orleans. Lafayette No.1 doesn’t require a tour to wander through these hallowed grounds. You can find St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 near Bayou St. John on Esplanade Avenue, with one of the entrances directly across from the historic Commander’s Palace restaurant.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 has featured in the novels of Anne Rice, as well as the 1999 Hollywood production, “Double Jeopardy.”
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
The site of this cemetery is at the corner of St. Louis & Basin Streets, book one of the daily guided group tours available through your hotel concierge. The Archdiocese of New Orleans restricted access to the location in 2015, to preserve the historic resting place from vandalism and abuse.
St. Lois No.1 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, founded in 1789, this cemetery is home to over 100,000 deceased souls and more than 700 tombs and mausoleums. The cemetery houses the remains of noted New Orleanians such as sugar industry pioneer, Etienne de Bore, and the world-famous chess champion Paul Morphy.
The cemetery hosts the graves of Homer Plessy, known for the ground-breaking Supreme Court segregation decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson, as well as Voodoo goddess Marie Laveau.
This location featured 1969 classic motion picture, Easy Rider, and holds the pyramid-shaped mausoleum that is to be the final resting place reserved for the A-list actor, Nicolas Cage.
Don’t Wake the Dead While You’re Staying in New Orleans
Why not book into one of the many beautiful and luxurious hotels in the city center while you’re staying in the City of the dead? We recommend Hotel Monteleone. This lobby of this 5-star location features a grandfather clock, supposedly haunted by the ghost of the clockmaker.