Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
Northern Va Suburbs of DC, Virginia
October 15, 2011
From journal Long weekend in Buenos Aires
New York, New York
April 25, 2008
From journal Buenos Aires Neighborhoods
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
October 2, 2007
From journal Buenos Aires: Frozen Tango
February 23, 2006
Los porteños generally live with their parents much longer than those of us from the States. Whether the difference is purely a cultural one, an indicator of the economic hard times that have befallen Argentina in recent years, or both, many Argentineans live at home into their late twenties or beyond. Living with family members may provide a much-needed financial buffer, but few would argue it also results in an appalling lack of privacy. Consequently, Buenos Aires has no shortage of "hotels" that cater to those needing an hour or two for the odd clandestine rendezvous.
Few foreigners who visit Buenos Aires are aware the aforementioned establishments operate right under their collective noses, and fewer still know that Recoleta Cemetery, one of the city’s most visited sites, quietly lurks in the shadows of many such hotels. Thus, life in Buenos Aires often proceeds at its most passionate, fervent pitch against the looming backdrop of the city’s grandest symbol of death. Oh, the irony.
Within Recoleta’s massive brick walls and neoclassical front gates lay the richest and most famous among Buenos Aires’ dearly departed, a veritable Who’s Who of the city’s past. Celebrities and scholars, soldiers and captains of industry, statesmen and race car drivers, poets and ex-presidents are among the interned.
Eva Perón (1919-1952), Argentina’s former first lady, is Recoleta’s most famous resident, and one only need follow the largest gaggle of tourists to find the Duarte family mausoleum where she rests. Oddly, Juan Perón, her husband, is buried across town in a different cemetery.
Recoleta is a miniature city unto itself. Above-ground mausoleums stand shoulder-to-shoulder like Upper East Side apartment buildings, laid out amidst a perfect grid of city block-like sidewalks. Unlike Paris’ Cimetière du Père Lachaise, there’s almost no greenery. Virtually every square inch of space is occupied by one of the elaborate mausoleums.
Recoleta’s prestigious real estate isn’t doled out to lone individuals. These are family tombs, often spanning generations. Many are incredibly ornate, representing a wide array of architectural styles, often adorned with impressive statues. Some have glass fronts, the caskets inside in plain view, stacked on shelves one atop the other. Almost all have a basement, and occassionally one can see a steep stairway leading down to a crypt housing more caskets.
Some of the monuments are impeccably maintained, their marble and the bronze placard denoting the family name recently polished. Others have fallen into disrepair, either due to a lack of money or because they no longer have descendants to care for their upkeep. Plundering, vandalism, and the elements have taken a toll, with broken glass and locks, bits of trash, and stolen hardware the most glaring remnants.
Taking the term "adding insult to injury" to a new low, we saw one derelict tomb that had become an impromptu janitor’s closet, with cleaning products and other tools of the trade strewn atop a weather-beaten coffin.
Recoleta Cemetery offers a fascinating glimpse into Argentina’s past. Don’t miss it.
From journal Paris of the Pampas: Buenos Aires, Part I
Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
April 23, 2010
From journal Wonderful Argentina
October 26, 2005
From journal 3 Days in Buenos Aires
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
December 17, 2005
From journal Buenas Tardes, Buenos Aires
Bristol, United Kingdom
December 19, 2005
From journal BA the Best
by Kauai Boy
July 5, 2004
Entry into the cemetary is free and, as I had visited here before, we walked right in without a guide. However, for first timers, I do recommend hiring someone to walk you through--just ask at the info desk in the entrance. You could also freeload off of larger tour groups and their guides.
One word of caution: beggars often frequent the entrance of the cemetary and the neighboring church. You will need to either shrug them off rudely or part with a few coins -- they're experts at tugging at your heart-strings.
From journal Volleyball Team in Buenos Aires
June 29, 2001
Of course you'll want to visit Recoleta cemetery, where Eva Peron is buried - her tomb is adorned with flowers from a constant barrage of well-wishers, along with plaques from various organizations. Though it's hard to find your way around the cemetery, follow groups of people and you're sure to find Evita's resting place.
The cemetery I found to be the most interesting was the larger Chacarita Cemetery. Famous people buried here include Carlos Gardel (the father of the Tango), and Juan Perón. Carlos Gardel's tomb is almost festive, and is adorned with a large statue of the musician. Be sure you ask someone to show you where it is, as this cemetery is much less touristy, so you can't find famous tombs by following crowds. A kind groundskeeper showed me the way to Gardel's tomb, then took me over to Juan Peron's, where, as luck would have it, there was a small group of people gathered around to celebrate his birthday (I had no idea it was his birthday when I went!) They sang songs, hugged and kissed each other, and didn't seem to mind that I was lurking about. What an experience! You have to take the subway to get to Chacarita Cemetery - ask at the tourist office.
From journal Hello, Buenos Aires