Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
May 26, 2012
From journal Doin' Stuff in Buenos Aires
December 19, 2010
From journal Bueno 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
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
, New Mexico
June 25, 2001
From journal A Weekend in Buenos Aires
March 8, 2002
This cemetery, which covers over 13 acres of ground, contains an amazing cornucopia of grandiose tombs and mausoleums. It is said that the cemetery occupies the most expensive plot of land in Argentina, and this is reflected by the fact that many great political figures, war heroes, athletes and writers are laid to rest here. The clusters of mausoleums, shaped like classical temples and pyramids, are impressively enormous and form claustrophobic "avenues". Some are as large as houses and have several "floors" within them. Casually stroll down the passageways and just gawk at the remarkable assortment of sculptures and detailed adornment. Near the entrance, there is a large general plan of the cemetery that indicates the locations of the memorials of many notables including Evita Duarte de Peron, embalmed in the Duarte family tomb. Gray skies and a slightly coolish breeze intensified the somber mood throughout my visit to this historic cemetery.
Ironically, the cemetery is home to its own living population of stray cats who seem to be well fed by some local custodian. Seeing cats of all shapes and sizes materializing from between mausoleums and dashing towards the custodian gives a true meaning to the term "feeding frenzy".
The admission hours of the cemetery (which dates from 1822) are from 10AM to 5PM. The interesting La Recoleta neighborhood surrounding the cemetery features many fine restaurants (lots of delicious steak places), ice cream shops (almost as good as the gelato in Italy), boutiques, trendy art galleries and the like. Wandering through a dark cemetery is not for everybody, but this is a very interesting excursion and one can comprehend how Argentines deal with their cities of the dead.
From journal Bill in Argentina - BUENOS AIRES
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