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When visiting a new city, a stroll around a cemetery may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, believe you me, Recoleta Cemetery is a big attraction in Buenos Aires. As well as being the stomping grounds of tattooed Goths (I’ve seen a few), waves of visitors crowd the narrow streets especially during cruise season.

loyal doggy will follow you anywhere

Liliana Crociati de Szaszak

 

The Cemetery of Recoleta is located in the homonymous upscale neighbourhood. It was opened in 1822 and since then it’s been the final resting place of many notable citizens. The cemetery is laid out like a city with streets and green spaces but has mausoleums instead of houses. These were built in different architectural styles according to the fashion of the day and the taste of their…ermmm… inhabitants?

lovely and gracefulSome mausoleums stand out for their beauty and artwork, like that of Rufina Cambaceres, designed in the Art Deco style. Some are grand an imposing, especially those of military heroes. Some are humble and unassuming (and sometimes in bad state of repair)

Recoleta is also famous for the angels that adorn the monuments. Those heavenly beings can be playful, grief-stricken, warrior-like, stoic, hopeful, triumphant.

Recoleta is living proof that death is the great equalizer. One of the most internationally renowned Argentinean women, Eva Perón (cue cliché Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina) is buried in one of those unassuming mausoleums. The general that led the coup d’etat that deposed her husband, Juan Domingo Perón, is buried a couple of streets away. And those upper-class women who looked down on her and whom Evita hated so much surround her forever.

There are fascinating stories behindnot speaking to each other for eternity some monuments. Take Liliana Crociati de Szaszak, for example. She died in an avalanche in Austria on her honeymoon. Her grief-stricken father commissioned a statue of her and her beloved dog to keep her company for all eternity.

One of my favourite stories is that of Salvador Maria del Carril and his wife. Apparently they didn’t get along and had a stormy relationship. Although they are buried together, their effigies face away from one another. The ultimate revenge.

 

Address: Junin 1760, Buenos Aires.

It opens every day from 7 am to 6 pm. There are free guided tours in different languages.

Written by Ana O'Reilly

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5 Comments for this entry

  • Aledys Ver says:

    A visit to a cementery is not sth that you would think would come up high on a list of things to do when you visit a city as a tourist, but the Recoleta Cementery is more like a (definitely not living!) museum of Argentinean history, achitecture and art.
    The stories that you discover when you roam around the narrow streets between the different mausoleums are very interesting, like this one of the del Carrils or Liliana Crociati's.

    • TourAbsurd says:

      I should have known you'd be on top of this post, Aledys! 

      I was just traveling visiting with Sherry Ott while she was in Italy.  Her favorite part of Rome was a cemetery with an amazing angel sculpture.  Likewise in Venice, only this time it's an island entirely devoted to graves.  Fascinating stuff!

      • Aledys Ver says:

        I just found out that you had this companion site of TourAbsurd.com. Ohhh goodie, so many interesting things to discover!
        I've never been to Rome or Venice (so close and yet so far!) but I can imagine that Recoleta has much of the style and atmosphere that you can find there. We are (Arg.), after all, a copy of all thngs Italian in so many ways…

        • TourAbsurd says:

          I just set this site up and Ana was nice enough to write a review for me.  If you want to write one, too – for a restaurant, place to stay, things to do, or travel gear – let me know!

          I have heard that Argentina is filled with Italians, but I still thought the culture was more Spanish.  I really must go!  :)

          • TourAbsurd says:

            Ok, if you are still reading, I had the most wonderful evening & dinner with Mariana (http://mytravelthirst.com/) and her husband, Fede.  They are from Costa Rica.  Fede did his impression of an Argentinean accent and wow!  The rhythm and melody is just like Italian.  Amazing!  :D

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