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La Recoleta Cemetery

La Recoleta Cemetery


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La Recoleta Cemetery (Cementerio de la Recoleta) is a world renowned cemetery in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires.

History of La Recoleta

Franciscan monks first arrived in this area, then on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, in the early 18th century, and a cemetery was building around their convent and church. The order was disbanded in 1822, but the cemetery was converted into Buenos Aires’ first public cemetery.

The layout seen today was designed by a French engineer called Próspero Catelin in 1822, and resembles a city more than a burial ground with its impressive neo-classical gates opening up to winding tree-lined streets.

The site extends over 14 acres today, and contains 4691 vaults, all of which are above ground. 94 of these have been declared National Historic Monuments – they vary in architectural style from Baroque and Neo-Gothic to Art Deco and Art Nouveau, depending on when they were built.

Opulent and grand, La Recoleta Cemetery is characterized by a range of ornately decorated mausoleums, many of which are made of marble and adorned with statues. In fact, this over ground burial system is due to the fact that is anything buried underneath La Recoleta Cemetery’s marshy earth is likely to rise back to the surface.

La Recoleta Cemetery sees presidents and wealthy businessmen rub shoulders with poets, writers and boxers. Look out for presidents such as Raul Alfonsin, Arturo Umberto Illia, Hipólito Yrigoyen and Nicolás Avellaneda, one of Napoleon’s grandchildren Isabel Walewski Colonna and the boxer, Luis Ángel Firpo. It’s most famous resident is Eva Perón or “Evita”, who is buried in a black marble mausoleum owned by her family and listed under her maiden name “Maria Eva Duarte”.

La Recoleta today

The cemetery is one of Buenos Aires’ top attractions: you’ll want to pick up a map at the entrance and then spend several hours losing yourself in the maze of graveyards. There’s a wide variety of Argentina’s history on display and many of the country’s most famous and notable figures were laid to rest in La Recoleta.

You can peek into the crypts and explore pretty fully, but do so respectfully – it’s still an active graveyard.

Sometimes the sheer size of La Recoleta can feel overwhelming – hiring a guide is recommended, especially if you want to have a fuller picture of Argentina’s history, the architecture of the cemetery, and stories about some of the less well known residents who were buried here. Free guided tours in English run on Tuesdays and Thursdays – check online before going for precise times.

Getting to La Recoleta

The cemetery is in La Recoleta, in Barrio Norte, about 4km north of Plaza de Mayo. The nearest underground station is Las Heras, a 5 minute walk away. Buses also run frequently, and stop on Avenida Pueyrredon – you’ll want the 62, 92 or 93.


Recoleta Cemetery – an Eerie Resting Place of the Rich and Famous

If you are lucky to visit La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires on a rare day when tourists don’t crowd its narrow alleys, you will get a sense sadness. Without the camera clicks and the visitors’ giggles, this places looks strange and unnerving, yet peaceful and fascinating.

Cemeteries always trigger emotions. They are a perpetual reminder of our ephemeral existence. And yet I like rambling through them. I like visiting the graves of people I don’t know, reading their epitaphs, wondering about their lives. But before you find that morbid, let me take you for a walk through this extraordinary graveyard that is the most expensive piece of land in Argentina.


4 tombs to visit in Recoleta Cemetery

The city&rsquos founders and notable citizens give their name to many streets throughout Buenos Aires. Many of those are laid to rest here in La Recoleta Cemetery including the Mitre&rsquos, Alvears and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.

But there&rsquos a few other crypts to check out with interesting back stories. Here&rsquos a few to seek out while you&rsquore there.

Eva &ldquoEvita&rdquo Perón

Pretty much everyone visits Argentina&rsquos iconic first lady&rsquos final resting place in Recoleta. It&rsquos not especially grand compared to other mausoleums on the site but it&rsquos the most visited, always adorned with floral mementoes.

Finding Evita&rsquos grave can be difficult among the 4500 vaults. She is buried in the Duarte crypt &ndash Eva Duarte was her maiden name.

Her grave is marked on Maps.Me so if you&rsquove got it on your phone, follow the directions. Failing that, ask someone for directions. Everyone is here for the same thing!

Liliana Crociati

Liliana died on her honeymoon in Austria in the 1970s when the hotel she was in, was hit by an avalanche.

Her parents reconstructed her bedroom inside her mausoleum. You can spot her grave from the life size bronze statue of her with her hand on her dog&rsquos head.

Rufina Cambaceres

Rufina&rsquos art nouveau marble tomb is a moving crypt. At the age of 19, she fell into a coma and died.

A few days after her funeral, a worker in the cemetery noticed the coffin had moved and was broken in places.

Afraid grave robbers had been up to no good, her coffin was opened upon which they found scratches on her face and desperate scratch marks inside the coffin lid. Rufina had been buried alive!

David Alleno

David was a gravedigger in Recoleta for 30 years and saved enough money for his own plot and statue. The story goes that he commissioned his statue and when it was finished, promptly committed suicide.

Apparently his ghostly remains roam the alleyways each morning at dawn, jingling his keys as he goes.


La Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Filled with history and mystery, ghosts and grandeur, La Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires, Argentina ranks among the most famous cemeteries in the world and is a must-see when visiting Buenos Aires. Over 4,800 above ground tombs and elaborate marble mausoleums cover 13 acres arranged in city-like blocks, complete with street names on each corner, tree-lined “avenues” and smaller walkways branching off like side streets.

La Recoleta Cemetery entrance

The imposing entrance gate is flanked by tall Greek columns and the thousands of ornate tombs run the architectural gamut from neoclassical to art nouveau, temples to towers, tasteful to tacky. You can wander among the many stately and well-kept family crypts and others that are actually open and in disrepair.

La Recoleta Cemetery Art Nouveau

The permanent “residents” of La Recoleta Cemetery occupy the most expensive real estate in the city of Buenos Aires. Created in 1822 from the gardens of a disbanded convent, it was originally a public cemetery for the poor of the city. In the 1870’s, during a yellow fever epidemic, the wealthy of the city migrated to the Recoleta area to escape the plague. Over time, the nearby cemetery became the final resting place for the most powerful and prestigious of Buenos Aires.

One of the most famous people buried at La Recoleta Cemetery is Eva Perón. After being interred and moved several times from country to country, Evita now rests in the “basement” of the Familia Duarte mausoleum beneath two trap doors for security. You can use a map of the cemetery to find the grandiose monuments of past presidents, military leaders, athletes, literary figures and scientists of Argentina. Cemetery lore also includes tragic stories of some the less famous people buried there. One of the most heart-rending is that of Rufina, an 18-year old girl buried alive by mistake in 1902. Her ghost is said to be heard screaming still.

Photo credit: Justin Ornellas cc

Another quirky fact about La Recoleta Cemetery is that it is rumored you can “rent” a mausoleum by the day. Assumedly to work around the high price tag of a permanent plot, with permission (and appropriate fees, of course), families have been known to “borrow” a mausoleum, by replacing the name on the tomb with their own family name for the day and posing for pictures with other grieving relatives!

When in Buenos Aires, be sure to take a couple of hours to visit the fascinating and unique La Recoleta Cemetery. To plan your trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, please contact Covington Travel’s expert advisors.


Forest Lawn Memorial Park: ‘Happy eternal life’

Name: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale

Why: Los Angeles might have a shorter history than most of the world’s major cities, but who has more celebrity cemeteries?

The options in our area include tiny Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park (where Marilyn Monroe’s marker is often covered in lipstick smudges and Merv Griffin’s announces that “I will not be right back after this message”), and the irreverent Hollywood Forever (where a tomb-top bronze statue of Johnny Ramone jams in perpetuity on his electric guitar).

But the mother of them all is the original Forest Lawn in Glendale, founded in 1906. It’s the Hearst Castle of cemeteries — a convergence of religion, patriotism, American entrepreneurial pluck and European facsimiles set on about 300 sloping, grassy acres.

The auteur was Hubert L. Eaton, who took over the operation in 1917. By the time Eaton himself was interred here in 1966, he had commissioned copies of just about every known Michelangelo sculpture a vast reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in stained glass and a 195-foot-wide panoramic painting of Christ’s crucifixion that was billed as the world’s largest religious painting.

Eaton also constructed a free museum and three churches modeled after European landmarks. Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman married in one of them (Wee Kirk o’ the Heather) in 1940.

View of the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

“I believe in a happy eternal life,” Eaton wrote in the Builder’s Creed that is chiseled in stone at the park. “I therefore prayerfully resolve on this New Year’s Day, 1917, that I shall endeavor to build Forest Lawn as different, as unlike other cemeteries as sunshine is to darkness, as eternal life is unlike death.”

Those sentiments and the grounds have been thoroughly satirized by two British novelists — Aldous Huxley in “After Many a Summer Dies the Swan” and Evelyn Waugh in “The Loved One” — but famous names still arrive regularly.

Among Forest Lawn’s permanent residents: Humphrey Bogart, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney, Larry Fine, Michael Jackson, Louis L’Amour, Chico and Gummo Marx, Art Tatum and Elizabeth Taylor. Management gives visitors little or no help in finding celebrity graves, but there are tips aplenty online.

Or you could just browse, bask in the grandiosity of it all and treat any sightings as a bonus.

Info: 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale (323) 254-3131, Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Hope Cemetery welcomes whimsy in good taste with all kinds of fun tombstones.(Doug Hobart)


La Recoleta Cemetery - History

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La Recoleta Cemetery

At the beginning of the 18th Century, monks belonging to the Franciscan order of the Recoletos Descalzos (barefoot friars) settled in this area, beyond the borders of what was then Buenos Aires. Their convent and church were dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar (Nuestra Señora del Pilar, more about, see Iglesia del Pilar). The local population named it La Recoleta, designation that was extended later to the whole area.

In the course of a general church reformation under the Government of Martín Rodríguez and his Minister Bernardino Rivadavia, the monks were expelled and expropriated in 1821. The convent's garden was converted into the first public cemetery of the city, and inaugurated on 17 November 1822.

In the 1870s, because of a yellow fever epidemic, numerous of the well-situated families of the densely populated quarters of the city center fled to the higher located area in the North, where they built their new villas and elegant residences.

Meanwhile, the Recoleta Cemetery decayed, since it was not allowed to bury there victims of epidemics. In 1881, the city mayor Torcuato de Alvear commissioned the Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo with its renovation in neoclassical style. The front entrance with Doric columns was erected during this time. From then on, magnificent mausoleums were built by the city's rich families for their deceased.

The site with an approximately surface of 55.000 sq. has currently about 4.800 vaults. Many famous Argentinians have found their final resting place here. A real pilgrimage site is the tomb of Evita. The Cementerio de la Recoleta is one of the most famous cemeteries worldwide, due to its historical importance and artistic quality.


The World's Most Amazing Freaky Haunted Touristed Cemetery

Most travel destinations don't have a must-see cemetery on their list of "Top 5 Attractions" most travel destinations are not as special as Buenos Aires!

Following the Argentine War for Independence, the nascent state, with its capital of Buenos Aires, made a plan to create an opulent new cemetery to house the wealthy elites after they passed on. Over the grounds of a disbanded monastery, the Order of the Recoletos, the city created Cementerio del Norte in 1822, which would later become the world famous La Recoleta Cemetery.

Few topics have the power to capture the imagination with such awe and fear as the idea of death, the concept of the afterlife, and the existence of las fantasmas. I took these photos a few days ago in broad daylight, a picturesque (no pun intended) balmy summer day in Cementerio de la Recoleta with no preplanned agenda, or preconceived notions of what I'd find. These images have not in any way been edited in post-production, they were taken straight from my camera's memory card, cropped, and presented here. You can make your own judgments about what you see:


It seems easy to frighten oneself in the dark of night, but it takes a unique locale to stir fear in broad daylight. Despite our evolved sensibilities, humans are still, at our very core, programmed for self-preservation. Fear is supposed to help keep us out of danger and out of trouble, to help keep us alive.


A majority of us turn to religion for the answers to things we can't understand. We seek consolation in the mythology of our past: its stories, morals, and parables.


We feel a need to immortalize our loved ones in materials that last longer than flesh. But even these can fade over time, reminding us that nothing truly lasts forever.


Of the various ghost stories floating around La Recoleta, none is more popular than the horrible misfortune of Rufina Cambaceres. When her family discovered her lifeless body on her 19th birthday in 1902 they were devastated. She was laid to rest in La Recoleta where the true nightmare began: she woke up!

Scratching and clawing inside her tomb for days, she was discovered too late by the groundskeeper who'd noticed her coffin was out of place. The cemetery staff discovered her tortured body having endured a living entombment. Rufina had died twice.


Without a doubt the most sought after resident of La Recoleta is the most famous First Lady in Argentine history (arguably one of the most famous in world history), the illustrious Eva Peron. However, she did not come to La Recoleta quietly.

After undergoing an emergency hysterectomy, a partial lobotomy, and chemotherapy (the first in Argentina), she succumbed to cervical cancer in 1952 and sent her nation into a mourning the likes of which have rarely been seen.

Her embalmed corpse then began a unpredictably strange journey, first being displayed in her former office for two years, before a military coup deposed her husband and left her remains to the whims of a new government. The body disappeared from the world for 16 years, before it was revealed that she'd been secretly buried in Milan, Italy. Her damaged corpse, exhumed in 1971, flew to Spain where it spent a few years in Juan Peron's dining room. Juan and his third wife Isabel returned to Argentina to become President (again) and Vice President, respectively. Eva's body stayed behind in Spain until Jaun died in office in 1974, when Isabel Peron, the new president, had her flown back to Argentina to be with her dead husband. Only then did the Argentine government finally place her in La Recoleta, a full 22 years after her passing.


Using a map to navigate the cemetery is a form of cheating. Getting lost shuffling in and out of the rows and alleyways of mausoleums is part of the fun. Just be aware that even in the most heavily visited days, the dead far outnumber the living.


A group of cautious cats call La Recoleta their home. If you are very careful they will let you pet them.


The bringing of flowers, lovingly placed in the crypts, is common practice. Certain mausoleums are meticulously tended on a regular basis, while others slide into neglect.


The wizards of movie magic couldn't generate some of the scenes La Recoleta's spiders managed to in just a matter of months.


Sometimes religion can be a little freaky. you know what I mean?


You can peer inside almost every crypt to glimpse those that are maintained and those that have fallen into disrepair. The chaos in some, looks almost purposeful.


At 11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays the cemetery provides free English tours for those delving deep into the history (of the location and its unique inhabitants).


Crypts above the ground adjoining reinforced underground tombs was the choice of French engineer, Próspero Catelin, who feared the marshy site would send corpses buried in the traditional in-earth style back to the surface during plentiful rains.


No matter what your beliefs, a visit to La Recoleta is worth the possible exposure to ill-tempered spirits. Remember to bring your camera, and an open mind!

Photographs by Kevin Richberg taken on January 2nd, 2015 at Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery is one of the top attractions in the city of Buenos Aires, as it is the place of internment for some of the most notable figures in the history of Argentina. It is also a place of vast architectural interest and one of the most unique cultural spots in the city. The Cementerio de la Recoleta is situated in the upscale neighborhood of Recoleta and was designed by a French engineer by the name of Prospero Catelin. The history and facts about Recoleta Cemetery tell us that the entire layout was remodeled in 1881 under the direction of the Italian architect, Juan Antonio Buschiazzo. Today, throngs of people descend upon the cemetery to witness the elaborate grave sites and to learn more about where Argentina&rsquos most prized sons and daughters are laid to rest.

In a city that contains seemingly limitless tango clubs, restaurants, theaters, and cafes, you may be wondering why anyone should want to spend any time at a cemetery. The fact is, the Recoleta Cemetery is much more than just an average cemetery. The architecture alone is worth a visit. The entrance to the Cementerio de la Recoleta takes you through formidable, neo-classical gates whose signature elements are the tall Greek columns. Once inside, you will witness the most elaborate and elegant mausoleums in all of Argentina. Many of them are made completely of marble and adorned with extremely detailed carvings as well as impressive statues in many different kinds of architectural and artistic styles. Much like Pere LaChaise in Paris, this cemetery serves as a sculpture garden as much as it does a cemetery.

There is a very methodical layout contained within the cemetery. The gravesites are separated by tree-lined walkways that branch off to the various mausoleums. Each one of these mausoleums is engraved with the family name of the person interned there, usually on a brass or bronze plate of some sort. One of the best-known facts about Recoleta Cemetery (and a major reason why many people choose to visit this attraction in Buenos Aires) is that it is the resting place of Eva Peron, one of the most important and noteworthy figures in Buenos Aires's history. Although there are a multitude of extremely famous Argentineans interned here, from writers and artists to presidents and soldiers, hers is the most internationally recognized name. Many people visit the Cementerio de la Recoleta just to see this one grave. The inexpensive fee to get in makes this well worth the visit if you happen to be a fan or appreciator of her life and work.


4. Salvador Del Carril and his Wife

A gigantic mausoleum commemorates the life of Salvador María del Carril and the story of his wife Tiburcia Domínguez, an important figure in the early days of Argentine history who participated in national politics. Del Carril lived in Uruguay during the Rosas period where he met his wife, Tiburcia, 25 years younger than him.

Del Carril passed away in 1883, and Dona Tiburcia Domínguez of Del Carril had this elaborate construction built to honor his memory. The vault is a monumental construction in which the most prominent part is a canopy, in the form of a needle crowned with the figure of Cronos, God of Time, by the sculptor Camilo Romairone.

In spite of Del Carril’s decades of participation in Argentine politics, he is also well-known for having major marital problems. Tiburcia apparently liked to spend Del Carril’s fortune to a point where he published a letter in several major newspapers claiming that he would no longer be responsible for his wife’s debts. That obviously didn’t go over well with Tiburcia.

Rumour has it that before she passed away in 1898—fifteen years after her husband—Tiburcia requested that her bust look away from Del Carril for eternity. To this day, the unhappy couple have their backs to each other.

Gen Tomas Guido Tomb

Gen Tomás Guido (1788 – 1866)


Watch the video: Recoleta Cemetery: Argentinas City of the Dead (January 2023).

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