Opened in 1789, the Saint Louis Cemetery #1 is New Orleans’ oldest city of the dead.
Despite its dryly numerical name, more than 600 fascinating tombs line maze-like narrow walkways, including the final resting place of many of the early city’s notable dead – including Etienne de Boré, the city’s first mayor.
Perhaps the most famous permanent resident, and certainly the most haunting, is found in the tomb of the city’s internationally recognized “Voodoo Queen,” Marie Laveau. Also popular in pop culture, Cemetery #1 memorably served as the location for the acid freak-out scene in the Jack Nicholson film Easy Rider.
The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and subsequently has undergone preservation work funded by grants from the Save America’s Treasures program.
Known for their distinctive above ground burials and particularly lovely monuments, New Orleans’ historic cemeteries are all worth exploring, including the Garden District’s Lafayette Cemetery, the racetrack-shaped Metairie Cemetery, and St. Louis Cemetery #2.
Know Before You Go
Please note that you can only visit the cemetery with a tour guide