New Orleans is famous for their approach towards funerals and burials. Because of their location the city has always taken a unique approach towards cemeteries. Instead of burying people in the grown New Orleans has always gone vertical.
Because of the popularity, and vandalism, you must attend a tour to check out the cemetery. Our tour guide was fantastic – combining humor with knowledge.
The cemetery is the oldest in town, dating from the late 1700s.
There have been a number of construction approaches over the years for the vertical vaults. As a result there are tens of thousands of remains throughout the cemetery.
Most are owned by individual families. Many have small fences surrounding them to delineate their space.
Over the years some have been maintained more than others. The original brick ones have had their mortar dry up and fall out, with the fix being to cover them in stucco.
From certain angles they appear to be additional downtown buildings.
A few have tributes – not sure what an angel and a voodoo head symbolize.
The visuals throughout are stunning.
Some of the other tour participants fit the mood.
One of the interesting aspects is the ‘common’ space. If you don’t have a family crypt, or you have ‘lost your lease’, you are placed into the large community vault. There are literally thousands of remains there.
The history of New Orleans and cemeteries is a very interesting one. With the guide we had we learned much, and were able to experience the macabre beauty of the St Louis Cemetery #1.