:: New Orleans – Cities of Dead ::
Just the other week I ventured into once very familiar territory to me many years ago – New Orleans, the Big Easy. This particular trip was focused on capturing images from the infamous cemeteries aka .. Cities of Dead. The most well known (and featured in a few films), Saint Louis, Lafayette, and the Metairie Cemeteries. You’ve got great rusty ironwork, sun bleached tombs, endless nooks and crannies with twists and turns of mini-walkways everywhere.
New Orleans, founded in 1718, saw its fair share of burials early on & these were made on the river bank. The first cemetery, 1721, was on st peter street. burials were also made in the church. St. Louis #1 cemetery was established in 1789. However, soon the locals realized the high water table allowed their recently deceased to often float back up. Even after trying to put stones into the caskets to weight them down wouldn’t keep Mother Nature from bringing them back up.
Some of the oldest burials in the Mississippi valley lie here in New Orleans. Beginning in 1789 the custom started with multiple burials in the tombs and vaults. When space in a tomb is re-used the remains of the previous burials are lowered into a receptacle below the ground level or placed in the back or side of the vault. This practice of re-using burial space has become a custom amongst New Orleans traditional burials
When/if you make a pilgrimage to New Orleans I highly suggest you check out these local gems
Click here for the Flickr set