on December 19, 2005
Guidebooks will tell you that the big sight in the cemetery is Evita's grave. And indeed you can see the plaques on the Duarte Mausoleum (her maiden name) and take the photo. I did. The saga of how her body got here is explained in Palermo's fine Evita Museum.So you've seen the big sight. Don´t go home yet.But I enjoyed wandering round the sombre marble streets of this necropolis in the centre of the city. Many of Argentina's greats are here--you´ll recognise the names from major streets: Lavalle, Pueyrredon, and Alem, among others. As with other public spaces in this city, it's heavily populated by stray cats. It seems porteños keep dogs but lose cats. On that note, watch where you step in this part of town--they love their dogs but hate cleaning up after them.Of course, Recoleta didn't always used to be in the centre of the city. Indeed, it used to be a country retreat for Buenos Aires' rich and famous. When yellow fever broke out in 1871, they moved out here permanently, abandoning their mansions in La Boca. But the city caught up with them as it expanded and now Recoleta is pretty central (but still outside the public transport system).The cemetery is open from 7am to 6pm daily and is absolutely free. You don´t really need the guide, but bring your camera, as there are some fine photos.
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