New Orleans Cemeteries
Metairie Cemetery
Text  to add to this page: History,
why graves are above ground, Katrina Destruction
rules for bodies only staying in mausoleums
for 2 years and then what they do with them
haunted cemeteries, police warnings -beware of thieves, how
many cemeteries in New Orleans, add a little about cemetery
tours.. mention most important issue>>>don't go in the
cemeteries at night alone or with a crowd
featuring spectacular photo's from Pinterest
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A Piece of the Past
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Captain Mark Twain called the Cemeteries......Cities of the Dead.
That name has remained well over 100 years.
St. Louis Cemetery
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New Orleans Cemeteries
Burying the dead in a place that is below sea level was a problem that faced the earliest residents of
the French settlement that became New Orleans. The solution agreed upon, to entomb the departed
in elaborate marble chambers above ground, created one of the city's most lingering attractions:
cemeteries that are both historic & hauntingly beautiful. Wander the purported resting places of
voodoo queen Marie Laveau, musician Al Hirt and Civil War General B.G.T. Beauregard, all
residents of what is known in New Orleans as the "Cities of the Dead".
Hurricane Katrina
What does New Orleans do when the caskets rise and come down a river of
water? Does New Orleans have a system for marking their caskets so if they
come to the surface and float away how do they identify where the casket goes
back into the ground? Is there a name plate on them or a number.
The Dead Shall Rise
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
St. Patrick's Cemetery No. 2 - This is a
beautiful cemetery notable as it was
with the first cemetery for the Irish
immigrants of New Orleans, built
following the yellow fever outbreak of
1853 that devastated the community.
Masonic Cemetery - Founded in 1865 by
the local chapter of free masons, the
Masonic Cemetery is known for its large,
elaborate, beautiful tombstones.
Holt Cemetery -The Holt Cemetery is
known for its below-ground burials.
The cemetery plot is family owned &
cared for. With oak trees & personal
touches on the graves, there is a warm
charming feeling to the cemetery.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 - Lafayette
Cemetery No. 2 is home to several old
society grave sites such as the Butchers
Society & the African-American Labor
St. Patrick's Cemetery No. 3 - St. Patrick's
is beautiful cemetery located across from
City Park Ave.
Hebrew Rest Cemetery - Hebrew Rest
is home to over 5 blocks of beautiful
graves. The site was chosen to its
elevated surface relative to the city so
that bodies could truly be buried under
the ground. This is due to the belief in
the Jewish faith that bodies must be
fully buried so that the souls may
properly rest.
Cypress Grove Cemetery - This
cemetery was built to honor New
Orleans Firemen & their Families.
Established in 1840, the entrance pylons
& lodges were built to resemble
Egyptian ceremonial architecture. Some
of New Orleans most prominent citizens
rest here.
Gates of Prayer Cemetery No. 1 -
Originally known as Tememe Derech,
1958, the cemetery was renamed Gates of
Prayers in 1939. It has large cast iron gates
and huge oak trees at  the entrance.
St. Roch Cemetery - St. Roch Cemetery is
the namesake for the entire neighborhood
of St. Roch. Founded almost 200 years
ago, the cemetery is home to a beautiful
entranceway with two guardian angels
hovering over the iron gate.
Greenwood Cemetery - Opened in 1852,
Greenwood Cemetery is located at Park
City Ave. & Canal Blvd.. With landmark
monuments, historic tombs and modern
mausoleums, it is one of the most popular
cemeteries in New Orleans.
St. Patrick's Cemetery No. 1 - St. Patrick's
Cemetery is known for being haunted. Visit the
Irish cemetery to see where some of the 1st
people to come to New Orleans are buried.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 - Located 3 blocks
from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, this cemetery
was concentrated in 1873 & is the resting place
of notable  of New Orleanians jazz & blues
musicians such as Danny Barker & Ernie K.
Established in 1854, each tomb recounts a
chapter in New Orleans' rich history, from
immigration patterns to floods to yellow fever
outbreaks. Walk the rows to see marble & stone
gravesites that are themselves works of art.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 - Less visited than its
counterparts this cemetery offers a piece of rest
& quietude for those above & below ground.  
Some of the most famous people buried in this cemetery
are the Mayfair Witches, Lafayette & Jefferson firemen.
There are 1100 family tombs & over 7000 people buried
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Located in the Garden District,
one of the oldest city governed cemeteries. The cemetery
was named after the city of Lafayette, once a part of New
Orleans. With almost 500 wall vaults the cemetery has a
rich history of some of the 1st settlers from Ireland &
Save Our Cemeteries - A non-profit
dedicated to the preservation,
promotion & protection of the
historic cemeteries of New Orleans.
Our walking tours fund an abandoned
restoration tomb program.
Gates of Cemetery No. 2 - This
cemetery is a Jewish cemetery with
above ground burials and burials that
honor Jewish traditions of the
deceased being buried in the ground.
Next came St. Louis No. 1 in 1789, this was the 1st major
"City of the Dead" with fancy tombs & parklike settings
providing a more fitting tribute to departed loved ones.
St. Peter was the first & it began in  1725 by the
Catholics and was located where the Superdome parking
lot is. Bodies were buried in the ground there.
As death rates grew with continued problems from fire
to yellow fever epidemic. Taking care of the dead was
becoming a bigger deal. Before ya knew it, new
cemeteries were called for, they were plotted on the
outskirts of town where illness & odor were less likely
of a problem.
Then with cholera & yellow fever epidemic, which
increased the body count and possible infection. Also
the cemetery was inside the Vieux Carre, it was pretty
Buried folk came up to the surface, not looking too well
The practice gave rise to coffins floating down river,
bodies weighed down with rocks and holes drilled in
caskets to let the water through to prevent them from
popping up like balloons.
Called "Cities of the Dead" for their resemblance to
urban centers, they have been a part of New Orleans
since its very beginnings. Folks were buried along the
river banks but when the river rose or a big rain caused
flooding, that didn't work well.
The Cemeteries of New Orleans, recognized the world
over for their elaborate & beautiful above ground tombs.
There are 45 cemeteries in town & 31 are considered
historic, 5 are listed on the National Register of
Historical Places.
Other cemeteries followed the layout of the city to form
designated streets in a grid pattern.
Floating Caskets...Not Just in Louisiana
Safety Warning Below
If you are gonna spend a lot of time exploring the cemeteries take a car so you can be safe. If you are in lesser known
areas, use common sense and as far as visiting at night - avoid it at any cost in all the cemeteries. Most of the cemeteries
have main offices where you can get maps and grave information for the cemetery. They are open during the day.
You will be urged to visit these cemeteries with a group because they are well known for being in dicey neighborhoods
and the crypts obscure threats to your safety. Visitors are prime targets for muggings or worse. Avoid St. Louis No. 2 &
Lafayette No. 2.  Peace of mind comes from a good tour and is your best bet.
Safety First
Run Away Coffins - As horrific as the sight is, it's also not completely an uncommon occurrence
during severe flooding. In 1994 during flooding caused by tropical storm Alberto, over 400 coffins
were forced to the surface in Albany, Georgia.
In 1999 in Princeville, N.C., 224 coffins popped up from the ground and floated away during
Hurricane Floyd. Flood waters washed over the cemetery and coffins in shallow graves floated off.
When big storms hit, and the flooding lasts for days, the vaults - and even the coffins within them can float. There
have actually been a few coffins that were in vaults and still the coffins escaped the cemetery grounds. Then they
end up in wooded areas and neighborhoods and ponds and you name it and they have ended up there.
Help Is On The Horizon