New Orleans’ famed above ground tombs in St Louis Cemetery No. 1

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was established via a Royal Spanish Land Grant in 1789. It was originally outside the city limits, and was at least twice its current size. The Archdiocese of New Orleans now has control of this cemetery. Currently the only way you can get into the cemetery is with a licensed tour guide. Unfortunately vandalism has forced this action.

Multiple designs for the tombs, some fancy and some plain

The famed above ground tombs and wall tombs are designed for use by generation after generation. Many of the tombs are owned by individual families. Some of the very large tombs are known as society tombs where several families or groups have combined resources.  The laws dictate that a year and a day passes before an additional burial is permitted. As you would expect, there are many well-known, famous and infamous people whose tombs are located in the cemetery.

We are standing in front of the tomb of Marie Laveau, the famed Voodoo Queen. This is reportedly the most visited tomb in New Orleans.

We decided to go on a St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and Voodoo tour put on by the Gray Line. Marcia, our tour guide, was a delightful host of our small group. As mentioned above, you must be with a licensed tour guide to gain entrance into the cemetery. Shop around, but we suggest going with the Gray Line Tour Company.

Plaque on the tomb of Marie Laveau, the most famous voodoo Priestess from New Orleans

Nicholas Cage had this tomb built in the cemetery. The only script on the tomb is the Latin phrase, omnia ab uno, which translates roughly to “all for one” or “everything for one.” Cage says he wants to be buried here, and the IRS cannot touch the asset of a burial plot. We were told that Cage visited the tomb a year ago with his brother.

Not all tombs are as well maintained as others.

Multiple generations of the same family interred in a wall tomb.

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