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“Save Our Cemeteries Tour”

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
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One Hour Saint Louis Cemetery Number One Walking Tour
Ranked #24 of 380 things to do in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Founded in 1789, this cemetery is the oldest in New Orleans and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Reviewed May 24, 2005

We have always wanted to tour one of the old New Orleans cemeteries but have been a bit concerned about the constant references to muggings and crime. On our most recent trip we decided to go with the Save Our Cemeteries Tour and were glad we chose this group.

St. Louis Cemetery #1 is the closest cemetery to the French Quarter and is an easy walk. However this cemetery is located in what became the Storyville area (the famous red light district) and when the brothels were torn down project apartment complexes were built in the area. Guidebooks recommend people only visit with tour groups and on the Sunday morning that we were there we saw at least two groups besides ours so probably visiting on your own would be fine IF you go when other guided tours are there.

Based on the commentary from our guide and what we heard from other guides nearby each group received pretty much the same information. What we liked about our chosen tour is that the group is a non-profit organization that works to preserve and restore the cemeteries. Plus since our guide was a volunteer with the organization his genuine enthusiasm for the history was apparent.

The cemetery was very interesting. We were surprised to learn that it is still in use and that families and societies who own the tombs may re-use them. Many of the tombs are in ruins but some are well kept. The tomb of famed voodoo queen Marie Laveau has been covered in voodoo symbols (not authentic however) even though Marie herself was a Catholic and therefore was privileged to be entombed in the more prominent Catholic section near the front of the cemetery.

On the walk to and from the cemetery our guide also told us interesting tidbits of history about the French Quarter area and the landmarks we passed. He was especially open to answering questions and we enjoyed his friendliness. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in the real New Orleans history without any theatrics.

18  Thank babygoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,864 - 2,868 of 3,017 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2005

The cemetery is not to be missed. In addition to the tomb of Marie Laveau, you will find the civil rights pioneer Homer Plessey (Plessey v. Ferguson) and other graves showing a remarkable history. We wandered a bit during the tour and found another unmarked grave that was similar to Marie's tomb -- with offerings and voodoo marks -- near the back of the cemetery. But the tour? We went with the Historical Walking Tour (tourneworleans/ Cemetery and Voodoo tour) because it came highly recommended in all the guidebooks. Unfortunately, our leader had us look over the shoulders of another group to see Marie's tomb and did not take us to all the advertised spots -- I don't think he liked the Voodoo part of the tour. So that was very disappointing and far less than what we had been promised.

10  Thank Arnold E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Detroit, MI
Reviewed August 6, 2004

We went on the Historic Walking Tour, and Anna (Ross?) was our guide. We met at the Cafe Beignet, which was very nice. Anna was absolutely fabulous with her true southern charm. She is on a society to preserve the cemetaries, and she is a wealth of information! We loved her! We could have done without the visit with High Priestess Miriam at the Voodoo Museum, although it was definitely an unusual experience. I highly reccommend taking this tour, and if you get lucky enough to have Anna as your tour guide, you will get a bonus!

8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 12, 2004

I thought it was pretty interesting. Went on a walking tour with Historic New Orleans Tours. If you go with them, ditch the tour after going to armstrong park/congo square but before going to the voodoo temple... The tour ran long and the priestess they took us to visit was just weird and rambled. It was like going to visit your semi-coherent grandmother who has a lot to say about nothing.
A lot has been said (here and in books) about safety (i.e. you HAVE to go with a tour). I would say, you can just go at the same time as a tour... You get the safety in numbers benefit without the cost. That said, I also felt like our guide shared some pretty interesting information so I didn't feel like it was wasted money. I just felt that too much was made of the safety issue.

12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Metairie, LA
Reviewed November 16, 2003

I went to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on a field trip with my class. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot about the different tomb styles. We got to speak to the people at Cheaux-Vive (a group of women that restore tombs for a living) They have done a lot of work in St.
Louis cemetery No. 1, and have greatly improved the the tombs.
Louisiana has very unique cemeteries, and I think everyone should take a tour of at least one of them.

-Laura (8th grade)

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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