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Upcoming Events


7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 6 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… more

A Conversation with…

Oct 6 - 6, 2015
Join us for a conversation with Lynda Benglis, artist, Katie Pfohl, Curator of… more

A Louisiana Parlor:…

Oct 6 - 11, 2015
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Oct 6 - Nov 12, 2015
The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund is proud to introduce its newest program,… more

Baby Arts Play! at…

Oct 6 - 6, 2015
Instill a love of art at a young age through a guided, hands-on gallery… more

City Park Pumpkin…

Oct 6 - 25, 2015
Get ready for some nonstop fall fun at New Orleans' City Park! Located at City… more

Clyde & Iggy

Oct 6 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for the local musical duo Clyde & Iggy.  Their repertoire… more

Collective Media…

Oct 6 - 25, 2015
Join Longue Vue for the first opening of its three-part "Collective… more

Hell Yes Fest

Oct 6 - 11, 2015
HUKA Entertainment and The New Movement are proud to announce the 4th Annual… more

Longue Vue House and…

Oct 6 - 11, 2015
For the 10th Anniversary of the storm, Longue Vue will commemorate the revival… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Oct 06, 2015 - Sep 27, 2016
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Oct 06, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

The Foundation…

Oct 6 - 30, 2015
Join us at the Foundation Gallery for  House: Group Exhibition with Andrew… more

The Historic New…

Oct 06, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Oct 06, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

The Sweat Social…

Oct 6 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

alt-J Concert

Oct 7 - 7, 2015
alt-J is coming to Champions Square. With the release of their sophomore full… more

Lakefront Arena…

Oct 7 - 7, 2015
Get ready New Orleans as Brand New arrives at the Lakefront Arena along with… more

Noontime Talk with…

Oct 7 - 7, 2015
Join Dr. Catherine Clinton, Denman Chair of American History at the University… more

Saenger Theater…

Oct 7 - 7, 2015
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, the provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation… more

7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 6 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… more

Cities of the Dead

A very famous writer, upon visiting New Orleans, said: "You can tell a great deal about a community by the way they honor their dead, and without meeting any of the people of New Orleans, yet I can tell you I know I'm going to like them, for very few cities that I have visited throughout the world honor the dead as they do here."

Most deceased here are interred above ground, a situation forced on the area because of the city's high water table and below sea-level elevation.

There are 42 cemeteries in the metropolitan New Orleans area. All feature family-built tombs capable of interring as many as a dozen deceased. The largest cemetery is Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery and very definitely worth a visit to view incredibly beautiful tombs set in lovely garden areas and topped with handsome sculpture.

In the mid-1800s, this was the site of the Metairie Racetrack and Jockey Club. Legend is that an American millionaire named Charles Howard was denied admission to the clubhouse, his sin being that he was not a Creole. The miffed millionaire vowed to buy and bury the track and the club. In l872, the site became a cemetery and, in 1885, when Howard died, his eternal resting place was on the grounds of the former Jockey Club. His ornate mausoleum features a statue of a man with his finger to his lips, seeking an atmosphere of respectful silence for those in rest here.

At what was once the main entrance to Metairie Cemetery, you will find the largest of monuments at 85 feet tall. It is the Moriarity tomb. As the story goes, Daniel Moriarity, an Irish immigrant, became a very successful businessman. His beloved wife died in 1887 and Daniel set about to honor her in death like no other.

Although Daniel was successful in commerce, he and his wife could never break into New Orleans society, lacking the "proper" blood lines. Daniel had a friend design the impressive memorial to his beloved - a huge granite shaft topped with a cross of the same material. Daniel wanted his wife, in death, to look down her nose at those who had snubbed the couple for so many years. He told the sculptor he wanted four life-sized statues placed atop the monument, each facing a different direction, and representing the Graces of Faith, Hope and Charity. The fourth would honor Mrs. Moriarity.

Upon arrival from out-of-state of the monument, it was discovered that no local drayage company had equipment large enough to transport it. A railroad spur from the mainline had to be laid directly into the cemetery in order to complete the delivery. The first erecting firm went bankrupt, and a second was hired allowing for final erection of the huge structure.

A circular sidewalk was installed around the base of the monument consisting of stones from various states throughout the country, each weighing eleven tons. When the walk was completed, Mrs. Moriarity's remains were transferred from her original burial site.

The final cost was set at $l85, 000.00. Because of the couple's age differences, Mrs. Moriarity stipulated in her will that only the date of her death be shown, not wanting to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing how much older she was from her spouse. After the stonecutter inscribed the information given him by Moriarity, he realized the date he'd carved was one day off the correct one. He tactfully approached Morarity, admitting the error and offered to correct it for the small sum of $2.50. Grunting, Moriarity said, "The hell with it. I've spent enough already."

After Mrs. Moriarity's remains were interred under the monument, the widower called the contractor back to advise him that the cross was crooked and he would not pay one cent until it was corrected. The second contractor went back to work and, like the first, went into bankruptcy. Moriarity, meanwhile, moved to California for health reasons and, upon his death 36 years later, was buried alongside his wife.

The Moriarity monument is but one of many remarkable structures in Metairie Cemetery. Be certain your tour guide shows you the "Woman With the Lantern" tomb and the truly sad story of its construction.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
This cemetery was the fourth in New Orleans and was laid out in two squares. A third square was set aside for the burial of African-American Catholics. Such notable African-Americans as voodoo queen Marie Laveau, members of the Sisters of the Holy Family, and former mayor Ernest "Dutch" Morial are buried here.

Cemetery tours are conducted daily by a number of tour companies, one of which is the nonprofit group Save Our Cemeteries. 504-525-3377. Only guided tours are allowed in the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 2
In the 1820s, the New Orleans City Council, following the belief that the contagions of yellow fever, cholera and other diseases were spread from cemeteries, wanted to find a new site for a cemetery farther removed from the center of population. The plot of land chosen was just outside of the French Quarter, in the historic Treme.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 3
St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 is located near the end of Esplanade Avenue, near Bayou St. John.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Located in what now is the heart of the Garden District, between Washington, Sixth, Prytania, and Coliseum streets, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest of the seven municipal, city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans. It is a non-segregated, non-denominational cemetery. There are immigrants from over 25 different countries and natives of 26 states.

This material may be reproduced for editorial purposes of promoting New Orleans. Please attribute stories to New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. 2020 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130 504-566-5019.