Necropolis Cristobal Colon - Havana's Cemetery, Havana
World famous cemetery that contains the biggest concentration of statues and funerary monuments in Cuba.
The Legend of "La Milagrosa" (see picture below):
Doña Amelia passed away during childbirth in 1903 at the age of 23 years old. Her child died as well. She was buried with her dead child placed at her feet. According to legend, when the grave was opened some time afterwards the child was in his mothers arms. Her desperate husband, José Vicente Adot, went to the cemetery every afternoon and tapped the gravestone with the bronze knocker screaming: Wake up Amelia! Wake up Amelia! He made this ritual for 17 years until he died.
Hundreds of people go to La Milagrosa to ask for their children or love affairs. Since ancient times the ceremonial includes tapping with the knockers as Amelia's husband did.
The visitors leave walking backwards to avoid turning their backs to the white statue of Amelia.
A beautiful place to go for a walk and to get away from the noises and crowds of the city. Dating back to the 19th century, this cemetery is to Havana what Pere-Lachaise is to Paris. Some of the headstones and ornamental sculptures are true works of art. Among the many people buried there (over 800,000) is one that is perhaps more famous, called La Milagrosa (you'll have no problem finding the right spot, there are always flowers and people praying). The story goes that this woman died while giving birth to a still-born child. As the custom goes, she was buried with her baby at her feet. Years later, her casket was opened up and they discovered the baby in the arms of the mother. She now stands as a symbol of motherly love.
One of the stops on our tour was to Havana's Cemetery NECROPOLIS CRISTOBAL COLON. There is nearly 1 million tombs here. Incredible isn't it. It's just as big as a city.
A number of well known people are laid to rest here in this 50 hectare cemetery. Some of the tombs and statues are wonderful works of art. At the center of the cemetery is the Capilla Central or Central Chapel.
It is located in the Vedado section of the city at Calzada de Zapata and Calle 12.
There was no entry fee but an official did board our bus to collect 1 CUC Peso if you wanted to take pictures.
This is one of the most famous cemeteries in Latin America, known for its beauty and magnificence. The cemetery was built in 1876 and has nearly a million tombs. Some of the gravestones are decorated with the works of sculptors of the calibre of Ramos Blancos, among others. Afrocuban religious practices have a big influence in Cuban culture, and this cemetery is no exception, on the contrary, it is quite common to find rag dolls with colourful dresses resting by small graves. The dolls are offerings to the various deities.
Another interesting fact is the legend of the Milagrosa (the Miraculous Lady). She was a woman that died giving birth along with her baby. They were buried in separate graves and later on, when her grave was opened, they found the baby in her arms. A lot of devout catholics leave offerings by her grave.
The Entrance-The statue in Carrara marble of the three theological virtues Faith, Hope and Charity, was sculped in 1904.
Entrance 1 peso + 3 peso if you have a camera
30 octuber of 1871 first stone was planted and began the construction of the biggest graveyard in Cuba, declared in 1987 National Monument. 56 hectareas of monuments and beatifull statues. Don?t miss:
- panteon de los ocho estudiantes de Medicina
- panteon del Cuerpo de Bomberos,
- panton de las Fuerzas Armadas,
And the main chappel decorated with painting of the cuban Miguel Melero.
With 131 years of history, the Colón Cemetery is an impressive symbol of a meeting between today's Cuba and silence, in memory of the many generations that rest in the Havana graveyard. Also known as the Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) Cemetery, it was built on a project by Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso, who had graduated from Madrid's Royal Academy of Arts of San Fernando. In 1869, Arellano de Loira's project won a contest to build a new cemetery in the Cuban capital, promoted as "The pale death enters both the cabins of the poor and the palaces of kings". The first works in the graveyard began in October 1871, and already in the 19th century, the fame of the Colón Cemetery traveled the world in the tourist guides of the time, devoted to inform on the most interesting sites in the capital of the largest Antillean island. A true architectural monument, the Colón Cemetery also has the honor of being the only American graveyard dedicated to the famous admiral who discovered the island and other major destinations in the continent. Precisely, the iron gate to the cemetery, at the so-called "Gate of Peace", bears three C's (CCC) in honor of the man who said that Cuba was "the most beautiful island that human eyes have seen".The main access to the graveyard is at the majestic northern portico, where an impressive 22.5-meter-tall sculpture in the form of an arc of triumph is located. Visitors are attracted by unique symbols, such as inverted torches, that remind them about the end of life, as well as branches of laurel and winged hourglasses marking the irreversible nature of earthly life. Later on, in 1901 to be exact, another sculpture - made of the world famous Carrara marble and built in Italy by Cuban sculptor José Villalta Saavedra - crowned the northern portico. He work, entitle "The Three Theological Virtues" - Faith, Hope and Charity -, bears an inscription in Latin (Janua Sum Pacis), after which that portico was called the Gate of Peace.
A lot of "Habaneros" are visiting this statue and make a wish.This tiles are a kind of thankness - i hope the many wishes came true!!
Note that this cemetery is not the only big one in Habana. There is also a Chinese Cementary - city of the dead - in Nuevo Vedado.
Very near the to Colon but it is closed - people say due to safety reasons (Raul Castro has an apartment in the neighborhood)
Furthermore - at Diez de Octubre there is a city of dead for the "LOGE"or " Freemasonry "