New Orleans Cemetery Tours 2023 – We include selection tips, explanations of what to see, as well as guided tours (including our own).
New Orleans was founded by the French in 1718 as a small settlement located on a bend of the Mississippi River and surrounded by cypress swamps.
New Orleans Cemetery Tours 2023
The body or coffin is revealed when the rain comes and washes the land around its final resting place.
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In 1722, an official cemetery – St. Peter’s Cemetery – was built on the outskirts of the small town.
In 1788, a new cemetery, St. Louis (now St. Louis #1), was built, St. Peter’s Cemetery was dedicated, and lots were sold to build residences.
The bodies of the dead who were buried in the cemetery of the old cemetery still remain and are sometimes exhumed during the development of the community.
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Around the 1800s, New Orleans pioneered above-ground burials, inspired by cemeteries in large European cities.
Headstones in New Orleans cemeteries are works of art, so the styles that can be found are endless.
This is the most common type of tomb. These mausoleums usually consist of 2-3 stacked rooms, but can accommodate 40-50 family members of the deceased.
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When all the rooms are occupied and new groups have to move in, the longest ones are removed.
The new filling was put into the room, the entrance to the room was covered with brick, and the closing board was scraped.
In life, members pay dues to the association and in death they are allowed to be buried in the community cemetery.
Exploring St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
They range from simple rows of graves to elaborate structures such as Jefferson Fire Company #22 (pictured below).
Wall vaults are cheaper than building family tombs, but they can only fit 6-8 people inside.
Cemetery graves are used when the deceased wants to be buried at home for religious or personal reasons but dies in New Orleans.
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The chest is placed against the wall, then filled with soil around it.
Now that you know a little about New Orleans cemeteries, you might want to visit one. But which one?
The city’s oldest cemetery, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has reopened after extensive renovations.
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Currently, visitors can only see the cemetery if they are on the list of families who own the grave or if they are on an official visit.
The trip is $25 and lasts 45 minutes and departs every 15 minutes (09:00 – 15:45). It departs from Basin Road Station.
Famous people buried here include Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and important civil rights activist Homer Plessy.
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You can also find the white pyramid tomb of Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage, who is actually still alive.
In 1969, after the movie Easy Rider was filmed here, the Archbishop banned commercial filming in any Catholic cemeteries in the city.
Although you can’t visit the cemetery yourself (there’s only one time you can go there), we have a short self-guided tour to show you what’s inside.
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A city-owned cemetery established in 1832 in the heart of an area known for its large antebellum homes and beautiful fenced gardens, this cemetery is one of the most visited sites in the city.
The working hours are usually 7:00 am to 2:30 pm Monday-Friday and 7:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
It is a favorite filming location seen in Interview with the Vampire, Double Jeopardy, NCIS: New Orleans, American Horror Story, Dracula 2000, The Originals and many music videos.
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It is also the burial place of many fictional characters such as Anne Rice’s Witches of Mayfair.
The long, neat cemetery at the end of Esplanade Avenue is a favorite stop on New Orleans bus tours.
Built on the site of a former leper colony, this cemetery sits on a natural high ridge along Bayou St. John and it’s a great place to take a picture of the angel statue.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans
If you walk along the road to the end of the cemetery, you will come across a three-story mausoleum, and if you go to the balcony on the top floor, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the surroundings.
At the time of its dedication in 1872, there was a trend in cemeteries in the Eastern United States toward rural memorial parks with landscaped grounds, lakes, and trails.
This beauty combined with the New Orleans flair for ornate above-ground graves makes for a cemetery you can explore all day.
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Metairie Cemetery is also the final resting place of several Civil War generals, New Orleans mayors, Louisiana governors, artists and writers.
There are also the remains of Al Copeland, the creator of Popeyes Fried Chicken, and the famous musician Louis Prima, which contains the letters for one of his famous songs, “Just a Gigolo”.
Many people visit Morales’ grave, originally built for famous Storyville madam Josie Arlington and a young girl knocks on the tomb’s door.
Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1 New Orleans Catholic Easy Rider Statue Graveyard Voodoo Stock Photo
Easily reached by the Red Canal Tram (with “cemetery” written on the front), all are open to the public except Odd Fellows Rest, which is now being restored.
The Old Charity Hospital Cemetery was established in 1848 as a burial site for unknown persons. Therefore, there are no signs in this cemetery at all.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 83 victims of the hurricane and its aftermath remain unaccounted for and are buried here at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial.
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Cypress Grove Cemetery has a number of interesting tombs, including the Tong tomb, which was built in 1904 as a temporary resting place for the remains of Chinese who died in New Orleans before being sent to China.
At 150 acres, one of the city’s largest cemeteries, Greenwood’s Elks Mausoleum and Firefighters Memorial are at the entrance.
Before you take a trip to New Orleans cemeteries, there are a few things you want to keep in mind.
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If you see workers preparing a funeral or a grave, respectfully stay away from the area and do not take pictures of the process.
All cemeteries listed in this guide are still in operation. The family still bury the dead regularly.
Some older cemeteries usually have graves marked with three x’s.
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Some believe that this is a voodoo tradition and that if the person buried inside x and says the magic words, your wishes will come true.
Never put a marker on a grave unless you want to pay a finefor property damage. This is disrespectful and illegal.
All cemeteries we recommend are considered safe, but always use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
A New Orleans Cemetery
Maintenance staff work hard to keep these sacred places as accessible and accessible to all.
Most focus on the history and burial customs of each cemetery, but others include elements such as ghost stories and Voodoo practices (see section below).
But don’t just take our word for it, see what people have said before on TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google.
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Although St. Louis Cemetery #1 can only be visited with a guided tour, we’ve created a self-guided version to give you a taste of what to see.
We also offer a self-guided audio tour version of the #1 Lafayette Cemetery Tour for your convenience.
In fact, there are too many companies to list here. Check out this list of other tour options.
A Guide To New Orleans’ Cemeteries
This company offers many different tours of New Orleans that focus on the magical history of the city.
One of the tours they offer is a cemetery tour that covers a number of different locations including:
If you are looking for a tour that provides in-depth information about some of the cemeteries, this is a good option that you may want to consider.
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This company offers Park District tours that include a visit to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 as well as the Elms Mansion and other historic sites.
As if that wasn’t enough, this tour also includes entry to a praline factory and free pralines.
This is the only company that offers regular tours of St. Louis Cemetery #2, St. Louis #1’s slightly younger neighbor, itself steeped in local history. Less known, but still interesting.
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Their #1 Lafayette cemetery tours, unlike those offered by most companies, only cover the cemetery – not the surrounding area.
Menu and Prices: The prices below are for online orders; The cost of the tour is an additional $5 per person, subject to availability.
There are several bus companies that stop at the cemetery and provide tours of the area.
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We also list 1-night ghost bus and cemetery tours on our New Orleans ghost page.
Some companies offer longer tours than others, but you can expect to spend 15-20 minutes looking around and learning about the historic cemetery.
CitySightseeing, a hop-on hop-off bus service, offers a free 1-hour walking tour of Lafayette Cemetery #1 when you purchase a 3-day bus pass, although the walking tour is free.