St. Louis Cemetery #1

St. Louis Cemetery #1: City of the Dead

St. Louis Cemetery #1: City of the Dead

Visit St. Louis Cemetery #1, established in 1789, and learn about our burial customs, some of the city’s most notable and notorious residents, and the challenges faced today by all of the city’s historic cemeteries.

This site may be our most precious as well as our most precarious historical treasure. Find out why visitors to the city have been visiting this cemetery for close to 200 years.

Get the inside scoop on death and burial in French and Spanish New Orleans, as well as during the golden age of 19th century New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase.

Visit this still-active cemetery and find out about:

  • Changing notions of cemetery layout and tomb architecture
  • Mass burial and related customs
  • Maintenance of tombs
  • Burial in the walls
  • Jazz funerals and the Musicians’ Tomb
  • Yellow fever deaths
  • Funerary symbolism in the cemetery
  • “Society” tombs for immigrant groups, military veterans, religious orders, and benevolent associations
  • Storyville, the former red-light district in this neighborhood
  • Famous and infamous residents of New Orleans, such as chess genius Paul Morphy, Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, civil rights pioneer Homer Plessy, famed French Creole Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, celebrated architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, former mayor Etienne de Bore (the first to granulate sugar commercially in Louisiana), and many more….

*Note: New Orleans' cemeteries are first and foremost consecrated sites for the interment of the deceased and for visits by family and friends of the deceased. It is requested, therefore, that other visitors to the cemeteries maintain an attitude of respect toward these sites and their tombs and deference toward any visiting family or funeral activity. 

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Tour Schedule

By appointment. Call or text (504) 256-9540 or email to set up your preferred tour time. Available almost every day! (Best with a little notice...)

Meet your guide 10-15 mins. before tour time in front of Backatown Coffee Parlour at 301 Basin St., a block from the cemetery. And by all means get yourself something to eat or drink while you're there.

Contact Us


Phone: 504.256.9540

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