Scenic USA - Louisiana

St. Louis Cemetery

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St. Louis Cemetery - New Orleans, Louisiana

Photos by Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Home to the Mardi Gras, southern musical geniuses and celebrated cuisine, New Orleans is one of Americaís most famous cities. A tourist town, even the final resting places for its citizens are popular attractions. Among its 42 unique cemeteries, one of the oldest is the St Louis Cemetery #1. Covering an entire city block in the French Quarter, the cemetery holds more than 100,000 dead. Statue of St. Mary  - New Orleans, Louisiana
     Pictured here are scenes from the largest of the St. Louis Cathedral cemeteries. St Louis Cemetery #3 was 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. Aside from the wealthy and famous, St. Louis Cemetery #3 is also the favorite resting place for various orders of priests and nuns.
Rows of Tombs in St Louis Cemetery - New Orleans, Louisiana      One prevailing myth that still circulates on cemetery tours is the tale of the cityís high water table that prevented in-ground burials. Because St. Louis Cemetery #3 rests on the Esplanade Ridge, there must be other reasons. Perhaps itís just traditional. As New Orleans was first established, itís thought that a string of Spanish governors adopted their old world traditions, including burial practices. Another valid reason points out that vaults and tombs were just plain economical, as 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 of the dead were simply tucked into a corner, making way for the next family member.
     All in all, the string of cemeteries makes for more fascinating subjects on tours of New Orleans. Centuries of dignitaries, sinners and saints create an engaging whoís who in the Big Easy.

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