Cementario de la Recoleta

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by billmoy on March 8, 2002

The Cementario de la Recoleta is a very exclusive cemetery where the legendary Eva "Evita" Peron, amongst a roster of rich and famous Argentines, is entombed. The irony here is that most upper-class Argentines frown upon the fact that she is entombed here.

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.

La Recoleta Cemetery
Junín 1790 Recoleta District
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1116
+54 (11) 4804 7040


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