Paths for the living
The Lafayette cemetery is one of several famous cemeteries in New Orleans. Cemeteries in the Garden District are old, elegant, and beautiful. Joy and I enjoy visiting cemeteries. They’re peaceful, and filled with art and craft and care. Lafayette cemetery is over 150 years old. It contains old, crumbling vaults and shining new vaults. And tourists like us.
Because New Orleans rests only a bit above sea level, burying bodies, coffins, and caskets below ground presents a challenge. Water pressure tends to push sealed vessels up out of the ground. The extra water in the earth also makes a mess of remains that aren’t sealed. Hence New Orleans historically placed their dead above ground, in vaults like those in Lafayette cemetery.