St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Above ground cemetery and Marie Laveau's grave
The oldest and possibly most famous of New Orleans iconic above ground cemeteries is the final resting place of many of the city’s most famous residents. The tomb of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, and Homer Plessy of separate but equal fame from the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case are only a few rows over from the white pyramid under which actor Nicolas Cage will eventually be laid to rest. Due to vandalism in the past, you need to be part of a tour group to enter. Consider booking with Save Our Cemeteries, a group that uses its proceeds to restore the city's cemeteries, at the link below. If you didn't get a chance to book ahead, there are guides at the gate offering tours for $20 a person.
Rosalita's Backyard Tacos
Alleyway home of the Achade Meadows Peristyle
This hole-in-the-fence, back alley taco shack is brought to you by two New Orleans restaurant veterans who open up their counter on (taco) Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5-9pm. Check their Facebook page for the day's menu and any updates on their hours. They don't serve alcohol, but you can BYO from Bud Rips down the street or order some of their homemade lemonade. Cash only. The taco shack shares Rosalie Alley with Achade Meadows Peristyle, the temple of La Source Ancienne Ounfo, the Vodou society that Priestess Sallie Anne runs out of her home.
3319 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA
Voodoo Spiritual Temple
Readings by Priestess Miriam
This shop is run by a local Voodoo priestess, Priestess Miriam. She does readings and sells oils, gris-gris pouches and more. If you would like her to do a reading, you can just stop in, but reservations are recommended. The remains of Frank Staten or Chicken Man, the famed Voodoo priest and showman, were donated to the temple after his mysterious death in 1998.
Voodoo Spiritual Temple
Where enslaved people gathered and practiced voodoo
This plaza in what is now Armstrong Park was the historic Sunday meeting place for enslaved people and free people of color. The Code Noir or Black Code that was put into place by the king of France in 1724 gave enslaved people Sunday as a day of rest. They would often use this day to play music, dance, and practice their religions. In 1763, the code was relaxed and enslaved people were allowed to buy and sell their own goods, which many did as a way to earn enough money to buy their own freedom, a practice called cortacion. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the Americans made life much harder for enslaved people and free people of color. In 1817 the mayor passed an ordinance that forbade enslaved people from congregating anywhere other than Congo Square. Because they had no where else to go, come Sunday the square would be packed with people playing music, dancing, selling goods, and doing religious ceremonies, all brining the traditions of their ancestors to their activities. The blending of these sounds is thought to be how jazz got its start and the blending of religions is how New Orleans got its own unique form of Voodoo. The majority of the enslaved Africans in Louisiana came from West Africa, specifically the Fon people from an area that is now Benin. The Fon as well as the other enslaved West Africans brought their religious practices that, along with the local Catholicism, started to form a new religion that is the basis for Louisiana Voodoo. The religion was altered and grew after a mass of Vodou followers relocated to the city as a result of the Haitian the slave revolt in 1791. Those three main groups and religions formed the basis of what became New Orleans's unique form of Voodoo.
Mysteries of Voodoo Tour
Learn real Voodoo history from an actual practitioner
Most depictions of Voodoo in popular culture and the city are dramatized and based in fiction. If you want to learn the actual history of the religion, take this tour from an actual Voodoo practitioner.
806 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA
Site of St. John’s Eve ceremony
Magnolia Bridge has been the site of the annual Voodoo ceremony on St. John’s Eve for over two decades. The yearly head-washing ceremony performed by Priestess Sallie Ann, a sort of Voodoo baptism, is an ode to Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau. From the 1830's to the 1870's, the famous priestess hosted an elaborate feast every year on June 23rd, the night before the feast of St. John the Baptist. While the modern day ceremony only started in the 90's, is a different event and is in a different location, it is performed on the same day as an ode to Laveau.