|Entrance to the St. Louis Cemetery #1.|
Because the city is actually below sea level, underground burials result in coffins floating to the ground's surface. The first cemetery in New Orleans, located on St. Peter Street, was littered with coffins that had floated up. The site was revolting to the general population and after heavy rains, the cemetery workers started off their workday by getting drunk in order to withstand the stench of the decaying bodies. The above ground wall vault system, popular in France and Spain, was used in St. Louis #1 to prevent "floaters" and the bodies located in the first cemetery were moved and the old place abandoned. Over time, elaborate sculptures and fancy decorative artwork embellishing the tombs resulted in this and the other New Orleans cemeteries to be known as "Cities of the Dead."
|Marie Laveau's crypt.|
|Plaque on Marie Laveau's crypt.|
|The crypt climbed by Peter Fonda|
in the movie Easy Rider. Note
the broken hand on the statue.
|Close up view of the broken |
|Old statue by a fallen down crypt in serious need |
|Crypt of a powerful voodoo practitioner.|
|An angel symbolizes a messenger from God. Clasped hands |
signifies affection for the departed even in death.
|A broken angel.|
|Another crypt of a voodoo practitioner still visited by people|
who ask the spirit for protection or a favor.
|The pyramid crypt Nicholas Cage had constructed for |
himself when the time comes. The writing on the front says
"Omnia Ab Uno" - Latin for "Come from one."