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St. Roch Cemetery in New Orleans


New Orleans Cemetery

An above-ground cemetery in New Orleans.

Sharon Keating

New Orleans is famous for its distinctive cemeteries, and New Orleanians are renowned for their celebration of these "Cities of the Dead." One of the most unique in the city has to be St. Roch Cemetery.

St. Roch and the Campo Santo:

In 1867, New Orleans was in the grip of a furious yellow fever epidemic, and there was little anyone could do to stop the spread of the disease. Reverend Peter Thevis prayed to St. Roch, a medieval saint who ministered to plague victims. After his congregation was spared, Rev. Thevis saw to the creation of the cemetery and its famous chapel.

The Chapel:

The Chapel is the most unusual in the city, with its hundreds of mementos of cures attributed to St. Roch. Shoes, braces, crutches, and replicas of body parts line the walls. There is also a whisper that some of this is related to Voodoo, as ceremonies were once supposed to have taken place here.

For pictorial tour of St. Roch, click here.

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