Fodor's Expert Review Cypress Grove Cemetery
This expansive and still-used cemetery was founded by the Fireman's Charitable and Benevolent Association in 1840. Over time, as the cemetery expanded, other societies and individuals joined the volunteer firemen in building impressive monuments. Leading architects and craftsmen were called upon to design and build tombs commemorating the lives of many of New Orleans's most prominent citizens. Crafted in marble, granite, and cast iron, tombs at Cypress Grove are among the nation's leading examples of memorial architecture. Of particular note is the Chinese Soon On Tong Association's tomb, which features a grate in front so that visitors can burn prayers written on paper in it. Admission is free and visitors are encouraged to explore on their own, although outside companies do offer tours.