If Hitler had ever ridden a horse, it might have looked like this.
If Hitler had ever ridden a horse, it might have looked like this.

Grave of Hitler's Horse, Zachary Taylor's Bathtub

Field review by the editors.

St. Rose, Louisiana

Died 1968

Pet Cemetery.

Near the entrance to La Branche Plantation, just off of River Road, marked by a small plaque, is the final resting place of what may be the most notorious equine in history. This is the grave of Nordlicht, "North Light," a chestnut thoroughbred stallion who died, quietly, in the bloody year 1968. Nordlicht's early days were anything but quiet. Born in 1941 -- a life bookended by war -- Nordlicht was, some believe, the horse of Adolf Hitler.

The plaque makes no mention of Nordlicht's dark past, but La Branche's owners are not shy about promoting it in less permanent venues. "La Branche is of statewide significance because of its exceptional Federal woodwork," reads the copy in one brochure. "Visitors are invited to enjoy all the colorful aspects of the grounds, including the authentic slave quarters, the largest pecan tree in the state of Louisiana, Zachary Taylor's bathtub, and the grave of Hitler's horse -- Nordlicht."

La Branche Plantation is currently managed by the Lentini family. This is the story they tell, based, they claim, on unspecified magazine articles and on word of mouth from Nordlicht's last owner, who sold them the property in 1983:

Nordlicht was Hitler's horse. He raced the Nazi circuit in 1943 and 1944 and won the German and Austrian derbies. Undefeated, he was named horse of the year in 1944 and had his image placed on a German postage stamp.

When Hitler tumbled from power, Nordlicht's star fell as well. Baron Thyssen, a onetime Hitler supporter, left the horse to his manager and trainer when he fled to Switzerland. The US Army claimed Nordlicht as a spoil of war and brought him to the United States, where he was purchased by New Orleans surgeon and horse breeder C. Walter Mattingly, who brought him to La Branche Plantation in 1948. Nordlicht was obviously a horse of some renown, as he spent the last twenty years of his life siring numerous offspring at La Blanche.

Nordlicht's later life seems pretty well substantiated, but what about those all-important early years? Are they more fiction than fact? Possibly. But those who demand a higher standard of proof should consider this: if Nordlicht really was Hitler's horse then dozens -- and perhaps hundreds -- of third and fourth generation Nazi thoroughbreds are pounding turf in American racetracks, being fussed over by American teenage girls, and making money for American state-sponsored betting corporations. Powerful interests would prefer to keep such news quiet -- or at least off of a plaque.

Also consider this: St. Charles Parish, where La Blanche is located, has long been known as "The German Coast" for its abundance of German settlers.

Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Also see: Faithful Steeds | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Grave of Hitler's Horse, Zachary Taylor's Bathtub

11244 River Rd, St. Rose, LA
La Branche Plantation
Weekends only. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mighty Mississippi Prize Fight StatueMighty Mississippi Prize Fight Statue, Kenner, LA - 2 mi.
Flashy Tombs of Metairie CemeteryFlashy Tombs of Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, LA - 10 mi.
Haunted Bed & BreakfastHaunted Bed & Breakfast, New Orleans, LA - 10 mi.
In the region:
Rougarou: Legendary Cajun Swamp Monster, New Orleans, LA - 10 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Louisiana

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Louisiana.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 30, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Louisiana Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Martian Landing Site Monument, Grovers Mill, New Jersey (Oct 26-Nov 1, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: St. Rose, Louisiana

Nightly rates found:

Book Now


Favorite Quirky City Sights