New Orleans – Lafayette Cemetery #1

When you visit New Orleans for the first time, you can’t help but notice the cemeteries. Because the city is built on a swamp below sea level, you can’t bury anything underground. The cemeteries consist of cities of elaborate above ground crypts and mausoleums instead of grids of tombstones.

Right in the middle of the Garden District, one block off the St. Charles streetcar line is Lafayette Cemetery #1. It was established in 1833, when that part of the city was called Lafayette. I had wanted to take a tour of the cemetery but I wasn’t able to get away until Sunday – and the cemetery was closed on Sunday.

Something to do on my the next trip.

The Lafayette Cemetery #1 was closed, but I still could take pictures from the gate.

Across the street from the cemetery is Commander’s Palace, one of New Orleans’ best and most famous restaurants.

Ferns grow from the ancient wall around the cemetery across the street from Commander’s Palace.

The crypts are elaborate and showing their age. You can see how the legends of ghosts and supernatural come from places like this.

The elaborate vegetation-covered tombs stick up over the wall surrounding the cemetery.