WALKING TOUR DESCRIPTION
Until further notice the Catholic Cemetery Office has closed the cemeteries but we still do this tour from the gates where you can see everything we explain.
Experience Treme, historic neighborhood and a tremendous source of New Orleans, Creole, and African-American culture. Begin your journey from Backatown Coffee in the site of the notorious red-light district Storyville. Enter the former Iberville Housing Project (now the Bienville Basin Apartments) to learn its history, including that of Storyville where you will see all three of the district’s surviving buildings, as well as learn of today’s New Urbanism.
From here, experience St. Louis Cemetery #2, New Orleans’ most magnificent and under-appreciated aboveground cemetery. Its three squares tell a myriad of remarkable stories, starting in Square #1 with the Frenchman Claude Treme, who married manumitted slave Julie Moro, owner of the former plantation land which the couple would subdivide into residential plots to create the legendary New Orleans neighborhood and this tour’s namesake. This cemetery includes the vault of French architect Jacques Nicolas Bussiere de Pouilly, who singlehandedly determined the aesthetic scheme of New Orleans cemeteries; tomb of legendary drummer Paul Barbarin and his wife Odelia, along with Paul’s nephew and wife, storied jazz couple Danny and Blue Lu Barker; around the corner are Ernie and Antoinette K-Doe; and Square 3 which contains what Historian Joe Logsdon called “The most significant collections of memorials to African-American achievement in the world.”
From here it’s on to Basin Street Station; Louis Armstrong Park / Congo Square / Perseverance Hall / the Rabassa-de Pouilly House; and St. Augustine’s Catholic Church / Tomb of the Unknown Slave, where you’ll learn about the “War of the Pews.” Then learn of the 1891 Parish Prison vendetta which assassinated the Sicilian convicts accused of murdering Police Chief Hennessy.
A visit to the phenomenal Backstreet Cultural Museum, dedicated to preserving Mardi Gras Indian and Second Line culture, is optional.
Tour includes sites from the HBO series “Treme.”
- Tours leave rain or shine.
- Arrive 15 to 20 minutes before tour time.
- Bring a raincoat for the rain • bring an umbrella for the sun or rain.
- Please remember to wear comfortable shoes.
TOURS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE