A Tour of New Orleans
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Cities of the dead
There are 42 cemeteries in New Orleans, 90% of which have above-ground tombs. St. Peter's cemetery in the French Quarter was the first cemetery built in New Orleans. Coffins placed under the ground resulted in watery graves. Due to the high water table in New Orleans, graves dug even a few feet below the ground would be soaked by water and sometimes floated back to the surface. After several epidemics in the 19th century, the city mandated above-ground graves. Graves were built above-ground in street-like formation, giving the cemeteries their nickname "cities of the dead."
Fun Fact: St. Peter's cemetery in the French Quarter was the first cemetery built in New Orleans.
Photo source: Carol M. Highsmith
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