City of the Dead One

Burial chambers

More burial chambers

One of the more elaborate (and newer) tombs.

Fresh flowers marking a family's careful tending.

This cemetery is officially known as Lafayette Number One. It is in the Garden District and houses some of New Orleans' original suburbanites...mostly of German and Irish heritage. The cemetery enjoyed a bit of a renaissance since Anne Rice made it the Vampire Lestat's resting well as the home of the Mayfair family tomb.

Because New Orleans is below sea level, residents learned early that burying the dead in above-ground tombs is about the only long-term burial solution. During heavy rains and spring floods, caskets and corpses buried in the traditional way had a tendency to pop up out of the ground. In 1830, a yellow fever epidemic was thought to be related to decaying corpses buried in the ground. The city then adopted the Spanish custom of above-ground vaults and tombs for burials. The rows of above ground tombs and vaults gave the cemetery the appearance of a small city....hence the name "Cities of the Dead".

Camera used was a Nikon CoolPix 950.

Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

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