Lafayette Cemetery #1 is located at Garden District. It was established in 1833, it’s one of the oldest in the city and you can many different burial methods. It’s not a huge one and we felt completely safe walking around and we met only with 3-4 other visitors, it was very quiet in general.
A guided tour is always suggested for visiting the cemeteries because it may be dangerous on your own but also because a guide is a good idea to learn some interesting stories and facts about some families, info about the burial techniques, the materials (stone, marble, iron) etc We had a very informative guide with us (it was a small group of 8 persons) and he gave us detail descriptions about the rituals, the burial traditions, the techniques etc
Although it is weird to walk inside a cemetery as a tourist attraction it was interesting to see this above ground burial site, the city is below sea level so they don’t want to see the corpses floating around! Did you know that there was a time that they used long wooden poles to settle the coffins to the bottom so not float?!!
It’s definitely an alternative way to see New Orleans, there are many pathways, some big tombs are impressive, many of them are used to bury whole families, some other families have just a stone drawer on the long wall.
The tombs for kids always make you sad of course although it was nice to see that they have toys on them, at some others we saw some stone bibles or angels, there are stores that sell them but it was a surprise to hear that there are tourists that steal them for souvenir!!
Some corners seem ideal for horror movies so it’s no surprise why it is often used in films. Don’t forget that some people may come here to mourn their deads, you may see a funeral in progress etc I was surprised of an open space where the relatives have barbeque “party” after the funeral!
The cemetery is open mon-fri 7.00-14.30, sat 7.00-12.00 and closed on Sundays & holidays except mothers and fathers’ day when its open 7.00-17.00
Enter at Washington Av or Sixth Street Gates, no pets allowed
The Lafayette cemetery is one of the famous raised cemeteries of New Orleans. It is delightful in an eerie kind of way, a kind of looking glass on history, seeing New Orleans from another perspective. It's quiet as you walk around, you can feel the bustle of the city fade into the ancient tombs, dating back from the early 19th century.
The walking tours can give you a deeper glimpse of the ritual and history of the tours, how they bury whole families in the tombs, their creation and maintenance. It's an interesting, rarely-seen side of the city which makes it so unique.
I love this cemetery because of all the trees. Yes, it's in the Garden District and that should be a given and that could be why I love it.
There is no real change to this cemetery since the hurricane. If you can only see one cemetery while in New Orleans, this is the one to see.
In my opinion, the most beautiful cemetery in New Orleans. Treelined walkways provide shade over the resting places of Civil War soldiers and southern aristocracy alike. Sits right in the heart of the Garden District.
Weekdays 7 am - 2:30
Saturday 7- 12
Offered by Historic New Orleans Walking Tours - no reservations are required for this tour, and the times are 11:00 am and 1:45 pm daily - but it's important to remember that the Lafayette Cemetery is closed on Sundays so if you plan on doing this tour on Sunday, you'll only be able to stand outside the gates of the cemetery while your guide shares all the juicy gossip surrounding some of the more colorful inhabitants.
I much prefer things up close and personal (er, not too close and personal if you know what I mean! But I am a real cemetery fan and this one is full of interesting info).
In addition to learning about the peculiar burial rights and traditions that characterize New Orleans (i.e. entire families share a burial mausoleum or sometimes a drawer in a wall if there's not enough money to pay for a plot; the bones are simply shifted over and the new body introduced into the confines -creepy!) and of course the headstones and actual burial crypts themselves are all above ground because New Orleans itself is below sea-level and one too many a time bodies were unearthed and found floating through the city years ago...shiver!), this tour is especially edifying for those who are interested in the antebellum society that formed this area - the background behind the architectural styles and the history behind the design of some of the more famous homes.
The tour lasts about 2 hours and carries on whether it's sunny or rainy. It's always a good idea to bring a raincoat or umbrella when you go out in New Orleans.
The cemetaries in New Orleans are different too.
In early New Orleans, if you dug a hole you would soon have a hole filled with water because of the city's high water table and below sea-level elevation. As a result, a coffin would float in the grave. Men forced it to settle on the bottom with long wooden poles. This was thought to be rude. Next large holes were bored into the bottoms of coffins so water could enter and force the coffin to sink.
Theaweful gurgling sounds of the coffins came to an end with the building of tombs above ground.
The La Fayette Cemetary nr 1 is founded in 1833 and placed on the national register of historic places in 1972.
The cemetary is closed on sundays.
Located in the Garden District, this cemetery is famous as the setting of much gore in many of Garden District resident Anne Rice's novels. Beyond that reputation however, Lafayette Cemetery is a peaceful and picturesque cemetery that is the final resting place of many of the Crescent City's most influential citizens.
LAFAYETTE CEMETERY. From the gates of this cemetery in the Garden District you can see the lavish aboveground vaults and tombs of the families who built the surrounding mansions. Begun around 1833, this was the city's first planned cemetery, with symmetrical rows and roadways for funeral vehicles. In 1852, 2,000 yellow fever victims were buried here. The cemetery and environs figure in Anne Rice's popular trilogy, The Vampire Chronicles. Although the gates are generally open during working hours, it is not advisable to wander among the unguarded tombs.