Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lafeyette Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans

One of my favorite activities while in New Orleans, was exploring the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Since we visited a little after they had opened the gates, it was really quiet, and only a few other passersby ventured through. I was
amazed by the intricate details, the shrubbery growing through the stone, the decaying of brick, broken plaques waiting for replacements, and the lists of family names and dates inscribed on the headstones.

While walking through one of the rows, we met a war veteran who briefly spent some time showing us around the grounds. He explained how several yellow fever victims were laid to rest in the wall vaults.* He also brought us to the site of a confederate soldier and a tomb that was used for charity purchases. Although no inscriptions were engraved to remember the names of those buried there, he explained how it was used for orphans. While he mentioned the burial process, he identified water lines left from Hurricane Katrina. I later went on to read how above ground tombs, such as the ones in this cemetery, may be necessary because of water problems. However, I am not sure if that was the main reason for the way this cemetery was constructed.

Although the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a more famous location, I would still recommend visiting this cemetery. There are paid tours you can receive for a more informational experience, but it's also worth visiting without a tour.

*Although there are still yellow fever victims buried at this site, I did read that many of the wall vaults were temporary grave sites for these victims before they were moved. 


  1. Oh, I love the old cemeteries of New Orleans. I took a tour of the one where an old voodoo queen was buried, and also where Nick Cage has his pyramid *eyeroll*

    1. I think I know the cemetery you're referring to. My husband and I wanted to visit it before we left the city, but we didn't know you had to pay for a guided tour. Since we didn't have much time for that, we are hoping to return and visit it. It really is fascinating to me the amount of history that can be learned from walking through the cemeteries there.