Built atop historic burial grounds, New Orleans is an eerie territory where century-old cemeteries are considered must-see tourist destinations while still on this side of life.
Dating back to the late 1700s, the historic ‘Cities of the Dead,’ as they are known, fill the natural landscape with elaborate stone crypts, ornate tombs, beautiful sculptures, and mausoleums. These mysterious necropolis, which are assembled above land because the city is built on a swamp, are popular among travelers because they house and honor some of NOLA’s most iconic (and infamous) characters. So grab some sturdy walking shoes and perhaps some sage, then check out the city’s most iconic cemeteries.
Established by the Firemen’s Charitable and Benevolent Association, the Greenwood Cemetery was founded in 1855. Greenwood is one of New Orleans’ largest cemeteries in volume, housing over 20,500 lots. Even though the entrance is adorned by five beautiful memorials, tombs in this cemetery are arranged to create maximum capacity. The memorials include the Firemen’s monument, a neo-gothic design inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s Monument in Edinburgh, the Elk’s tomb, erected in 1912 by Weiblen as a symbol of fraternity, and the tombs of Michael J. Mckay and John Fitzpatrick.