Stroll through the past and present of this fascinating city in St. Louis Cemetery with Robert Florence, author of “New Orleans Cemeteries” and “City of the Dead” and New Orleans’ top-rated guides. These burial grounds reveal every aspect of New Orleans's history. Aboveground burial and remarkable architecture create an unforgettable experience.
From chess champion Paul Morphy to civil rights pioneer Homer Plessy, from New Orleans's first African American mayor to the family tomb of French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas, hear the humorous, tragic and inspiring stories of several legendary New Orleanians in St. Louis Cemetery #1.
Learn what this legendary burial ground means to the living, such as actor Nicolas Cage and his pyramid, along with the New Orleans Musicians Tomb, administered by NOLA Historic Tours’ Robert Florence, who provides free burial for musicians.
Experience many compelling gravesites, including the notorious “Easy Rider” film location and the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Using Marie Laveau’s tomb as a point of departure, venture into the mysteries of Voodoo, exploring its realities and myths. Learn about the ancient West African religious basis and the crossovers with Roman Catholicism in slave-holding colonies.
Also experience St. Louis Cemetery #2, New Orleans’ most magnificent aboveground cemetery. Its three squares tell many remarkable stories, starting with the Frenchman Claude Treme, who married freed slave Julie Moro, owner of the former plantation land which the couple would subdivide into residential plots to create the legendary Treme neighborhood. This cemetery includes the vault of French architect Jacques Nicolas Bussiere de Pouilly, who was responsible for the design of classic New Orleans cemeteries.
In Square #2 is the tomb of legendary drummer Paul Barbarin and his wife Odelia, along with Paul’s nephew and his wife, storied jazz couple Danny and Blue Lu Barker, and right around the corner are rhythm & blues surrealists Ernie and Antoinette K-Doe, along with the great singer/songwriter Earl King. Also in Square #2 is the pirate Dominique You who fought with Jean Lafitte at the Battle of New Orleans.
Experience Square Three which historian Joseph Logsdon called “The most significant collections of memorials to African-American achievement in the world,” including the graves of Captain Andre Cailloux, Lieutenant Governor Oscar James Dunn, and Sister Henriette Delille. Walking tour sites include Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Congo Square / Louis Armstrong park, the site of Marie Laveau’s home, and more.