New Orleans, Louisiana audio tour: Stories of Faith and Courage: A Self-Guided Tour of Metairie Cemetery

Stories of Faith and Courage: A Self-Guided Tour of Metairie Cemetery

Walking Tour

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60 mins
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1.0mi

About the Tour

Enter the former Metairie Race Course, an earthly venue for the “quick,” now elegantly transformed into a glorious “City of the Dead” - where no one is in a hurry. Architecture and archeology seem to converge in this hallowed landscape of imposing society tombs and soaring mausolea. Experience an angelic locale filled with obelisks and pyramids, heroes and rogues, symbols and secrets. You will walk past the final resting places of over 50 kings and queens … of Carnival, that is.

New Orleans cemeteries are outdoor museums where memorial art is celebrated with as much passion as it is neglected. “Perpetual Care” assures that most family tombs are restored and renewed with regularity. Others face abandonment and neglect, lingering in the irony of their own death throes.

But, have no fear. Soldiers and saints will escort us, revealing the rich military history and religious culture of New Orleans. We will explore the fascinating and unique memorials honoring many who struggled in the face of earthly battles as well as those who achieved spiritual victories, arousing the “better angels of our nature.” Join New Orleans writer and photographer Kevin J. Bozant on this hauntingly beautiful journey. He knows where the bodies are buried.

Tour Producer

avatar

Kevin J. Bozant

Kevin J. Bozant is a writer, photographer and digital graphic designer for his publishing company, Po-Boy Press – New Orleans.
He was born in the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans in the 1950s – as luck would have it – just a few blocks from Huerstel’s Bar and Little Pete’s Seafood Restaurant. Kevin is a life-long resident of the city. He has walked, photographed and eaten his way through over a hundred unique neighborhoods in New Orleans. He is also a cemetery enthusiast, constantly exploring and documenting the cryptic symbols and haunting architecture of the "Cities of the Dead."
Kevin is working on his seventh book about the city.

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Major Landmarks

Directions to Starting Point

If you plan to take the Canal Street streetcar, make sure you take the car with ‘Cemeteries’ as the destination panel, NOT ‘City Park’ Upon your arrival at the Cemeteries Streetcar Terminus next to Greenwood Cemetery, you will exit there. You will find yourself in the presence of at least eight historic cemeteries. Once on foot, you will turn right on City Park Avenue, walk past Greenwood Cemetery, (you can’t miss the large Elk sculpture on the Hill) and head toward and under the elevated Pontchartrain Expressway. As you emerge on the other side you will see the steps that will take you up to the pedestrian entrance to Metairie Cemetery. You are looking for what locals call the horse on the hill. The current pedestrian entrance was originally the main entrance to Metairie Cemetery. The first tomb you will encounter is the tomb of Tom Benson. As you walk past the Benson tomb you will see the horse on the hill on your right.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Tumulus of the Louisiana Division of the Army of Tennessee, the grave of General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, the Equestrian Statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston, the Italian Society Tomb of Madonna of Mount Triona, the Pillars of Jaquin and Boaz, the Battalion Washington Artillery Cenotaph, the Louisiana Division of the Army of Northern Virginia Mausoleum, the statue of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, former resting place of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, the tomb of Louis Prima, the avenue of Italian Benevolent Society Mausolea, The secret of Howard’s Tomb, the Virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity … and Mrs. Moriarty.

Best time of day

Morning is best. Be sure to have comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water. There are abundant trees in the cemetery; however there are also long stretches in full sun. Cemetery hours are 8am to 5pm.

Precautions

Using your phone as a camera will be awkward as you will be listening to my commentary. Take a good camera with a telephoto lens, a large SD card and extra batteries along with you on this walk. You will be taking more photographs than you ever thought possible.

Comments

Happened upon this app by accident and SO glad we did. The tour was very easy to follow, gave great history and insight into the Metairie Cemetery!! Worth the listen, can be done from car or by walking.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 1 year ago

We really enjoyed this tour and spent over 90 minutes walking the route, pausing as needed to explore. This tour could also easily be followed by car for those who can't or don't want to walk. The app is really well-designed.

Posted by Colleen , over 1 year ago

I’m always fascinated wandering through cemeteries here in NOLA. Getting this audio tour added so much more to our time there. There’s some really neat history that we wouldn’t have known or appreciated otherwise

Posted by Christine , over 1 year ago

10/22/2018 - I would like to thank everone for the positive comments on this tour. I would like to reiterate that the pedestrian gates are OPEN DAILY now that the Tom Benson tomb is completed.

Posted by Kevin , over 3 years ago

As of May, 2016, the new construction appears to be complete and the pedestrian gates are now open.

Posted by Kevin , almost 6 years ago

Thanks by the way for such an informative and interesting tour, I strongly reccomend it to any one visiting the cemetery!

Posted by Jeremy B Lowe , about 6 years ago

The entrance this tour refers to is permanently closed. If you need to walk to the main entrance on the I-10 exit ramp it is NOT pedestrian friendly and adds 1/2 mile of additional walking. This is a great tour but plan to drive or cab to the cemetery entrance. 04/26/16

Posted by Jeremy B Lowe , about 6 years ago

Thank you, Jeremy, for this valuable new information. This is apparently a recent change at the cemetery, I apologize for the inconvenience. We will make changes to the tour as soon as possible. Thank You. Kevin J. Bozant

Posted by Kevin , about 6 years ago

Kevin, it was a great tour and the first audio walking tour I have ever done. As an amatuer photographer who likes to take his time it was great and I will use more of these tour in the future. It appears they have just built a new crypt between the moriarity and confederate tomb so that may be why the access is now padlocked. There was a groundskeeper who said it was no longer open, only the drive in enterances. I never make comments but between how impressed I was with the tour and having too much time on the trolley I thought mentioning the gate issue would be good. The walk from the gate to the drive in entrance is actually not good with an extremely narrow shoulder, uneven terrain, and at one point a sign completely blocks the path and you must crawl under the sign or step down and into oncoming traffic on the off ramp. I just thought it was good to know.

Posted by Jeremy B Lowe , about 6 years ago

As of May, 2016, the new construction appears to be complete and the pedestrian gates are now open. Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed the route. KJB

Posted by Kevin , almost 6 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Stories of Faith and Courage: A Self-Guided Tour of Metairie Cemetery