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Friday, October 29, 2010

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Last March I took a trip to New Orleans. A trip to the Big Easy is not complete without a visit to one of their unusual cemeteries. I have been saving these photos as I thought they would be oh so appropriate for a Halloween post.

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Lafayette Cemetery #1 is located in the Garden District. It was established on a ridge in 1833 on land that was once the plantation home of the Livaudais family.  There are beautiful sections that hold family tombs.

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There are also society tombs. Religious groups, clubs, and fraternal societies would purchase tombs for their members who could not afford a single tomb burial.

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There are also military, fire and law enforcement society tombs.

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Most prevalent are the rows upon rows of raised tombs. While many believe that the tombs were created in this style as a way to deal with the city's inherent water problem, it is in fact a style which originated thousands of years ago in the Mediterranean region. It is possible the style evolved as a solution to the rocky soil of the region. It was brought to the new world  by the French and Spanish creoles. Tombs, mausoleums. and other raised burial styles are common in most regions of the world with a strong Latin and Roman Catholic tradition.

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There are a few, more familiar, burial plots found in the cemetery. Why they are not more common was probably due to the location of the cemetery and that it had a middle-to-upper-class orientation. At the time, it was generally only paupers and potters field cemeteries that had below ground burials. The earthen burial sites found in Lafayette are generally surrounded by beautiful cast iron fencing. 

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As the cemetery was for the more upper class, many of the family tombs feature beautiful marble carvings and sculptures.

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The garden statuary found in the cemetery is quite lovely, peaceful and touching. 

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Sadly, the cemetery has suffered from the evils of time. There are groups dedicated to care taking and are devoted in their efforts to preserve this gem. I have to say that the image below touched me the most. While the small vase that used to stand on this marble platform, in tribute to someone’s beloved mother, is no longer present, it would seem that Mother Nature continues to honor her.

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While I will be spending the weekend preparing for midterms, a truly frightful experience, I hope that you have a not so scary Happy Halloween!


Linking to:

Common Ground


Ann said...

I have to admit I am not fond of looking at cemetery photos because they give me the creeps... but these ones look so good and not creepy at all.

Nice shots... and thanks for sharing some facts.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Wowwwwwwwwwww! These are amazing photos with such history!!!! Happy Halloween! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Patricia said...

What stunning, yet spooky photos!

Sherry said...

Oh Laura good luck! Mid terms are not fun. Love you cemetery photos!

Linda said...

Hope your studying goes well and that you still manage to squeeze in some Halloween fun! :)

Love, LOVE the photos - you know I adore cemeteries - my favorite place to walk. This one looks fascinating and that flower growing where a vase once stood is very touching.

Happy Halloween :)

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

Hi, Laura! I truly enjoyed this post. I have this thing about cemeteries. I think because of the strong sense of history and of course family is why I'm so drawn to them. I've never been to New Orleans but hope to go one day. Thanks so much for you lovely pictures and this perfectly timed post! Good luck with the midterms!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Laura Sweetie...
Oh what a beautiful share for this Halloween weekend approaching us.
I love walking through cemetaries and reading the headstones. I can only imagine what you must have felt as you walked through this one. It is quite different with all of the mausoleums. I love the statues though and the carvings are so beautiful. I also love the surrounding fence. Quite unusual and spooky in a way.

You are having plenty of nightmares with midterms just like my daughter. She is having the same nightmare. I will keep you in my prayers sweetie.

Have a little fun this weekend though. Don't ever forget to take time to smell the roses. Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

Auntie Em said...

It sad to see a cemetery unkempt or in disrepair. They contain so much history. Sometimes just from lack of funds or time. But it is even more disheartening to know that people willfully destroy or steal these memorials left to commemorate a loved one.Thank you for sharing your photos.

Happy Hallowe'en and Good Luck with the midterms!!!! :o)

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

What fantastic photography. The black-and-whiteness of the photos (yes, that's SO what it's called...honest!!) works reallly well.

Angela said...

Halloween seems to bring many people to write about cemeteries. I saw poems at Bug`s and at Friko`s along with touching pictures, and yours are very impressive, too! I must say I love to walk around at cemeteries, they seem so peaceful and quiet (except the one I saw in Tombstone, AZ. Just looked at the pictures I took there( in 1965) today!
Where have you been living in Germany, Laura? How long ago? Sprichst Du noch Deutsch? Nein, red hots gibt es hier nicht, leider!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I just called my husband while reading this post to ask why, on all our trips to New Orleans didn't we ever go visit this fabulous cemetary. He informed me that we did, on our first trip. I am quite worried about my memory. Thanks for the "reminder". Two people emailed me to thank them for suggesting your applesauce recipe yesterday!

Hollace said...

Fascinating! Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedule to post this!

Deanna said...

Happy Halloween!

May you have a safe one,

Little Leslie said...

I've been there, and loved it. They say, not to go there alone, because of robberies, but my friend and I went there, and had no problems. I adore New Orleans. Everything there is a treat!

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

Hi Laura, Thank You for bring back memories of that beautiful city for me. I had toured a couple of the cemataries wheen we were in New Orleans and it is beautiful workman ship they no longer do anymore mowdays. Great post. Have a great Halloweeen.....Julian

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, great pictures of a fascinating and spooky place. The Maven and I drove past it late at night on our way back to our hotel and we were quite the scaredy-cats. I am touched by the "Mother" pedestal with the flower provided by nature. Ann

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks again for sharing another lovely post with us! Good luck with your exams.

Marydon said...

G'eve Laura ~ Thank you for your sweet note. I am coming along ...

I love your cupcake bunting, first I've seen. Cute as can be & clever.

Oh, how we love New Orleans ... even the graveyards are unique & fascinating. This city beckons us as do Savannah & Charleston ... can't get enough of them.

Now I must say, tho ... I don't think I'd do the cemeteries on Halloween.

Have a BOO-TEA-FUL weekend!
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I enjoy photographing cemeteries, too. Very good timing....I love the B & dramatic! 3

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

This cemetery has some really pretty Statuary's and the iron fencing is just gorgeous... lovely cemetery but it's a little scary looking too!!! I wanted to thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments, I love reading them! Blessings~~ Daphne

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

What a good idea to save these photos for Halloween...I love black and white pictures.

This cemetery reminds me of one I saw in Argentina where the tombs are above ground. A lot of them had iron gates and you could view inside. Have a Happy Halloween :)

The French Maid said...

Lovely photos...I have a real thing for cemetaries. I don't find them frightening at all! We live about 4 hours from Charleston, SC, and we have wonderful cemetaries there, too, with lots of historical characters buried there. I'm always touched by how many babies and children are buried there!
--Lee Ann

Olive Cooper said...

I love cemetary photos such as you have taken. The wrought iron fences and gates are quite wonderful. I often take photos in such places myself. Thanks for visiting me. ♥O

Karen said...

I've never been to New Orleans, I know, what's wrong with me! I've always heard there are so many amazing historic details in the city.
Karen @ Garden, Home and Party

Jacqueline said...

Having been to these cemetaries, they are some of the creepiest, perfect for Halloween. When we visited there were some Goths in there, weeping at the tomb of a voodoo queen that had been dead almost 100 years. It was so spooky. Great photos.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Laura, I have always had a weird obsession with old cemetaries. There is something so peaceful about exploring them. We visited this cemetary in New Orleans years ago and found it to be quite beautiful.
xo, Sherry