Tuesday, September 25, 2018

NOLA: Lafayette Cemetery No 1 | part 2


Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is a gorgeous Southern Gothic cemetery located in the stunning Garden District. Like much of New Orleans, this stop is rich with history and horror.

It is uncertain how many people are buried in Lafayette Cemetery No 1. During the early years of the cemetery's operation (1833 - 1905), yellow fever was claiming the lives of thousands. During the yellow fever epidemic, this cemetery was running 24/7 in an attempt to honor the dead - which were piling up faster than the city could accommodate. It's fair to assume that record keeping was not a top priority at the time, and so the records of the dead during that period are incomplete. Some sources estimate that there are around 10,000 people buried in this cemetery.

Despite the small size, each plot of the cemetery (and others like it around New Orleans) can fit full generations of families (over 30 people per tomb). If you look in the photos below, you can see some epitaphs which honor a full list of family members in one vault. I'd love to share more about the history of New Orleans cemeteries in a future post.

For fellow horror nerds: Anne Rice was strongly influenced by this particular corner of New Orleans, and even staged her own funeral here as a promotion for one of her vampire novels. You can also spot it in "Interview with a Vampire" (among other films)!


Below, you can see the internal structure of the vaults.








The contrast between cemetery and surroundings can be a little disorienting. The centuries old Gothic cemetery is surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant Victorian buildings. The bright blue one visible below is a famous New Orlean's restaurant - Commander's Palace. New Orleans is a relentlessly colorful place despite all the darkness.






















Thinking of booking a trip? Try airbnb for local digs at a lower cost.


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1 comment:

  1. I love all the gifts that people leave behind. This must be such an interesting cemetery to explore.

    ReplyDelete