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An altar area in New Orleans in Saint Roch’s cemetery. There are red brick buildings on both sides of a path. There is a sign in front of the path that reads: Saint Roch’s campo santo. Corbis via Getty Images

9 shrines and altars in New Orleans, mapped

A myriad of spiritual traditions and neigborhoods are represented in this tour.

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A woman stands behind a gravestone which is shaped like a cross and has the word: blessed written on it. The woman is dressed in a black dress and has multiple necklaces. She is wearing black lipstick.
Kook Teflon stands behind a grave in Holt Cemetery
Photo by Terry Gaskins

To Kook Teflon, an artist and high priestess of Hecate, altars represent the intersection of matter and focused human energy.

“Sometimes it’s a fine line—when does an altar turn into an art installation, and when does an art installation turn into an altar?” asked Teflon, who divides her time between Seattle and New Orleans. “If you do an art installation dedicated to a person who inspired you, that’s an altar.”

By this definition, New Orleans is a glittering bricolage of altars and bayous, where the nearest shrine might be inside your neighbor’s shotgun home—or your own.

“All you need for an altar is a 5-by-7 inch photo, a candle, and some candy,” said Teflon. “It doesn’t have to be this big extravagance. It’s just a thank you.”

Here are Teflon’s nine favorite places to express gratitude in New Orleans.

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1. Carmel & Sons Botanica

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1532 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 510-5251
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Spiritual supplies, including Voodoo oils, candles, art, and herbs, are available at this neighborhood botanica, which focuses on Haitian Voodoo.

“Carmel & Sons is in Treme, and they have revolving altars for different things throughout the year. They are a beautiful and authentic botanica.”

2. Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, International Shrine of St Jude

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411 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 525-1551
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“I love the altars in Our Lady of Guadalupe. They’re very Catholic and have that old Italian feel—what I imagine a grandmother’s altar would be if she could have the altar of her dreams. Gaudy candles and statues and everything.”

3. ISKCON

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2936 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 638-3244
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This ISKCON temple hosts free vegetarian dinners every at Sunday evening, which are preceded by worship. Temple services start around 6:30, and the cafeteria-style meal starts after that—usually around 7:30 p.m. You don’t have to go to the service in order to enjoy the Indian food, but know that it usually draws a crowd (and long lines).

“It’s a blessed environment and blessed food—one of my favorite places in New Orleans to go to feel blessed in general. The whole house is a temple, so it’s beautiful.”

4. St. Roch Cemetery No. 1

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1725 St Roch Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

Built in 1876, this Gothic Revival chapel is a pilgrimage site for faithful devotees of St. Roch, the patron saint of healing. They leave prosthetic feet, hands, eyes, and other medical devices in the shrine as offerings. A renovation of the chapel is underway.

“St. Roch is one of my favorites. I love it there. It almost feels like an art installation. The shrine has been closed for a while, but you can peek through the windows.”

A wall with peeling white paint has multiple fake human limbs hanging from a rope on it. There is a ledge with various objects on it including a cross and several statue heads. Corbis via Getty Images

5. Mudlark Theater

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1200 Port St
New Orleans, LA 70117

Mudlark Theater is a black-box performance space in Bywater. Its feel, smell, and aesthetic are reminiscient of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Kook said.

“The Mudlark is one of my top three favorite places to go in New Orleans. To me, it is a sacred space. In the entry room, there’s an altar of Pandora Gastelum’s puppets and marionettes. A lot of the stories behind the puppets are tragic, sad, and beautiful. It’s an important altar space, and all these stories and energies are connected to the puppets, poppets, and marionettes.”

6. New Orleans Healing Center

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2372 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 940-1130
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The New Orleans Healing Center houses a food co-op, yoga studio, events venue, and various small businesses, as well as a botanica and shrine.

“I work with Marie Laveau, so of course I love the Healing Center’s shrine, because it is specifically for that person. People can leave offerings there, since they can’t go to (Laveau’s tomb) at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 any more (without paying an entry fee).”

7. Voodoo Spiritual Temple

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1428 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 943-9795
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Open since 1990, this temple focuses on West African spiritual practices. The altar is tucked away out of plain sight, but proprietress Princess Miriam is known to offer the occasional private tour.

“Priestess Miriam’s altar is in her space on Rampart Street. It’s also a shop, and she gives readings.”

8. The Music Box Village

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4557 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70117

The Music Box Village is an installation of musical houses—structures made to be played like instruments—that traveled the world before settling into a permanent location by the Industrial Canal in Bywater. It serves as both a sculpture garden and an event space.

“The Music Box Village is a living, breathing altar you can interact with, because all the structures are made from recycled homes. Think of the people who lived within those walls that have been rebuilt into an amazing sound bath. I feel each one of those are different altars and shrines by artists who put their love and intention into them.”

The exterior of the Music Box village in New Orleans. There is a courtyard surrounded by various building structures and trees. Photo by Josh Brasted

9. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

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724 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 680-0128
Visit Website

This petite museum contains multitudes of information, artifacts, and offerings.

“The New Orleans Voodoo Museum on Dumaine has three rooms of altars. I go every time I’m there, and I always see something I haven’t seen before.”

1. Carmel & Sons Botanica

1532 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Spiritual supplies, including Voodoo oils, candles, art, and herbs, are available at this neighborhood botanica, which focuses on Haitian Voodoo.

“Carmel & Sons is in Treme, and they have revolving altars for different things throughout the year. They are a beautiful and authentic botanica.”

1532 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116

2. Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, International Shrine of St Jude

411 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70112

“I love the altars in Our Lady of Guadalupe. They’re very Catholic and have that old Italian feel—what I imagine a grandmother’s altar would be if she could have the altar of her dreams. Gaudy candles and statues and everything.”

411 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70112

3. ISKCON

2936 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

This ISKCON temple hosts free vegetarian dinners every at Sunday evening, which are preceded by worship. Temple services start around 6:30, and the cafeteria-style meal starts after that—usually around 7:30 p.m. You don’t have to go to the service in order to enjoy the Indian food, but know that it usually draws a crowd (and long lines).

“It’s a blessed environment and blessed food—one of my favorite places in New Orleans to go to feel blessed in general. The whole house is a temple, so it’s beautiful.”

2936 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

4. St. Roch Cemetery No. 1

1725 St Roch Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
A wall with peeling white paint has multiple fake human limbs hanging from a rope on it. There is a ledge with various objects on it including a cross and several statue heads. Corbis via Getty Images

Built in 1876, this Gothic Revival chapel is a pilgrimage site for faithful devotees of St. Roch, the patron saint of healing. They leave prosthetic feet, hands, eyes, and other medical devices in the shrine as offerings. A renovation of the chapel is underway.

“St. Roch is one of my favorites. I love it there. It almost feels like an art installation. The shrine has been closed for a while, but you can peek through the windows.”

1725 St Roch Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

5. Mudlark Theater

1200 Port St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Mudlark Theater is a black-box performance space in Bywater. Its feel, smell, and aesthetic are reminiscient of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Kook said.

“The Mudlark is one of my top three favorite places to go in New Orleans. To me, it is a sacred space. In the entry room, there’s an altar of Pandora Gastelum’s puppets and marionettes. A lot of the stories behind the puppets are tragic, sad, and beautiful. It’s an important altar space, and all these stories and energies are connected to the puppets, poppets, and marionettes.”

1200 Port St
New Orleans, LA 70117

6. New Orleans Healing Center

2372 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

The New Orleans Healing Center houses a food co-op, yoga studio, events venue, and various small businesses, as well as a botanica and shrine.

“I work with Marie Laveau, so of course I love the Healing Center’s shrine, because it is specifically for that person. People can leave offerings there, since they can’t go to (Laveau’s tomb) at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 any more (without paying an entry fee).”

2372 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

7. Voodoo Spiritual Temple

1428 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Open since 1990, this temple focuses on West African spiritual practices. The altar is tucked away out of plain sight, but proprietress Princess Miriam is known to offer the occasional private tour.

“Priestess Miriam’s altar is in her space on Rampart Street. It’s also a shop, and she gives readings.”

1428 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116

8. The Music Box Village

4557 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70117
The exterior of the Music Box village in New Orleans. There is a courtyard surrounded by various building structures and trees. Photo by Josh Brasted

The Music Box Village is an installation of musical houses—structures made to be played like instruments—that traveled the world before settling into a permanent location by the Industrial Canal in Bywater. It serves as both a sculpture garden and an event space.

“The Music Box Village is a living, breathing altar you can interact with, because all the structures are made from recycled homes. Think of the people who lived within those walls that have been rebuilt into an amazing sound bath. I feel each one of those are different altars and shrines by artists who put their love and intention into them.”

4557 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70117

9. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

724 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This petite museum contains multitudes of information, artifacts, and offerings.

“The New Orleans Voodoo Museum on Dumaine has three rooms of altars. I go every time I’m there, and I always see something I haven’t seen before.”

724 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116