Scenic USA - Louisiana
Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state parks and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.
St. Louis Cemetery
New Orleans, one of Americaís most famous cities, is not only home to the Mardi Gras, southern musical genius, and celebrated cuisine, but it also houses a cluster of intriguing above ground cemetries. A final resting place for some of its first citizens, the oldest is the St Louis Cemetery Number 1. Covering just one square block in the French Quarter, the cemetery holds more than 100,000 dead.
Pictured here are scenes from the largest of the St. Louis Cathedral cemeteries. St Louis Cemetery Number 3 is built on a high point known as the Esplanade Ridge. Spread over three main aisles, a variety of tombs and vaults are lined up like row houses on an old city street. Alongside the wealthy and famous, St. Louis Cemetery #3 is also a favorite resting place for various orders of priests and nuns.
One prevailing myth that still circulates on cemetery tours is the explanation that cityís high water table prevents in-ground burials. Because St. Louis Cemetery #3 rests on the Esplanade Ridge, there must be other reasons. Perhaps itís just a tradition. As New Orleans was first established, itís thought that a string of Spanish governors adopted their old world traditions that included burial practices. Another valid reason points out that vaults and tombs were just plain economical. City ordinances allow for tombs to be used multiples times as long as the present deceased had been dead for two years. The former remains were simply tucked into a corner, making room for the next family member.
All in all, the string of New Orleans cemeteries offers a fascinating part of New Orleans history. Centuries of dignitaries, sinners and saints create an engaging whoís who in the Big Easy.
Copyright © 2010 Benjamin Prepelka
All Rights Reserved