When you think of New Orleans, you probably think of Mardi Gras or the French Quarter. Or maybe you think of all the famous foods that New Orleans is known for like gumbo, jambalaya, or beignets. New Orleans is such a vibrant city full of culture, history, and celebrations.
However, you may not have thought of cemeteries and cemetery tours when you consider a visit to The Big Easy. If you enjoy history or the allure that comes with facing the macabre, a cemetery tour may be just the thing for you. If you want to plan your own cemetery tour in NOLA, consider the following options:
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Probably the best-known cemetery for tours in New Orleans is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. If you want to book a guided tour of a cemetery with a tour company, chances are you will be heading to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, and for good reason. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a perfect example of the above-ground tombs that NOLA cemeteries are known for (made that way, since the city sits below sea level).
This particular cemetery is also home to a few famous sites. For example, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is home to Marie Laveau’s grave. Marie Laveau is a significant historical figure in New Orleans and known as the “Voodoo Queen.” This cemetery also houses Nicolas Cage’s infamous pyramid tomb. Overall, this cemetery is a great example of the architecture and history of the city as well as the site of many significant tombs.
Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery
Another well-known cemetery is Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery. If you love architecture and want to observe different styles of tombs, this is a good option for a tour, since the cemetery houses Greek temples, Islamic tombs, gothic style tombs, and obelisks. There is also beautiful ironwork as well as stained glass.
This cemetery is also known for its inhabitants, including Louisiana governors, New Orleans mayors, kings of Carnival, Anne Rice, and Tom Benson, just to name a few. It is a large cemetery and would make for an engrossing tour.
St. Roch Cemetery
If you are looking for a smaller cemetery, consider St. Roch Cemetery. Built as a neighborhood cemetery, St. Roch is the resting place for many of the common citizens of NOLA.
What makes this cemetery stand out is the Stations of the Cross. The Stations in the cemetery were actually carved in Italy by an Italian sculptor, and some people visit the cemetery just to see the Stations.
While some may think that touring a cemetery is ghoulish or lurid, touring the cemeteries of NOLA is actually like stepping back through time and having a history lesson. There is so much history and culture that can be learned by touring the cemeteries.
If you find yourself drawn to the history and culture of The Big Easy, there are plenty of New Orleans houses for sale. You just might find yourself taking cemetery tours or learning about the history of the city all year long.