This is the most famous Argentinian cemetery and the name comes from the area where it is located. During the 19th century, because of the yellow fever epidemy that hit the city, most rich persons moved from San Temo area to this area as it was considered healthier, and so the area became a quarter of rich people and the cemetery became the place where the most important families built their graves. It is particulary known as the place where Evita Peron was buried, but I must say her grave is one of the least impressive, it is plenty of fine sculptures all around.
I wanted to see Evita’s grave, and so I decided to walk to this cemetery which was easily identifiable because of the big tall walls surrounding this collection of graves - of rich and famous Argentinians.
I entered the place and noticed groups of people/tourists going in as well. I saw a map and just tried to picture how to get to Evita’s tomb, but it was easier to just follow where the groups of people were going - to Evita!
There’s a lot of nice and big marble and granite tombs for the rich and famous, and I saw stray cats sleeping on the structures. At Evita’s tomb which was on a narrow pathway, you would see the bronze plaque bearing her name. I already read beforehand that the tomb was not impressive and just small, but what was nice was that people still offered flowers to this celebrity first lady who died at 33 yo of uterine cancer in 1952. She had a lot of charisma since she came from the working class and ended up at the top of the political ladder. Remember Madonna even made a musical about this Argentinian legend.
If you are up for a snack, the cemetery also has elegant café patios beside it. I just went there during the day - I think at night, the spirits might eat with you...
I made a video of my short trip to Buenos Aires on Youtube. Hope you like this:
JUMPING NORMAN IN BUENOS AIRES
I found visiting the cementary very interesting. If you can get past the idea of walking through a cemetary, the walk around has interesting and beautiful internments. The architecture and sculptures are amazing. There are people offering a guided tour at the entrance but we chose to walk around ourselves.
No visit to Buenos Aires would be complete with visiting a cemetary....well not just any cemetary but the most famous one in the entire city. While you might not be rich or famous enough to be buried in the most illustratious cemetary in Argentina, you can at least visit. Located in the center of the city with the vibrant sounds of the the streets all around one could wonder how the dead get any peace and quiet. The architecture of the tombs is as diverse as the people buried in the cemetary and makes for an interesting visit. As if wandering around a maze of dead people wasn't interesting of enough in itself. And the best part? If your lucky enough you might wander upon the final resting place of Madonna!
The most visited crypt at Buenos Aires' Recoleta Cemetary is undoubtably that of Eva Peron. Surprisingly, it's not the subject of any real signage,and therefore can be a bit of a pickle to find.
Her grave is located just East of the cemetery center, and is most easily recognized by the hordes of tourist and bouquets of flowers surrounding her tomb. For the most part, her tomb was the only one with any flowers in place. Basically, one walks into the cemetary from the Junin 1930 side, and you should fairly quickly turn to the left. Go several "city blocks" (the cemetary is laid out like a miniature city), and then turn to the right. Then, as you pass each "street" on the left, look take a glance. When you see a group of people and/or some flowers on a crypt, that's it.
BTW, the tomb will read "Familia Duarte" at the top. That's Eva's maiden name, Duarte. And, this is not Eva's first "final resting place". Due to the controversy of Peron and Peronism, and combining the political instability in Argentina over much of the mid-20th century, Eva has been buried in numerous places, as far afield as in Italy under an alias. She has been in this location since 1976.
The Recoleta Cemetery, located in the northern part the city's Recoleta is one of Argentina's most famous final resting grounds. While the cemetary holds the remains of many famous and powerful Argentinians, it is most famous as being the burial location for Eva Duarte de Peron, Argentina's beloved "Evita".
The cemetery started out as a holy ground. It was first the home of the friars of the Order de los Recoletos Descalzos until 1822 when Governor Martin Rodriguez and his minister Bernardino Rivadavia outlawed the practice of using churches as burial grounds. At that point, it was officially renamed and christened as the Recoleta Cemetery. It was the first public cemetery in Buenos Aires.
The architecture of the cemetery reflects a wide variety of "eras". The more than 6000 crypts reflect such styles as Neoclassical, Neogothic, Art Nuevo, Art Deco and even a more modern styling.
The cemetery is laid out like a well planned city, there are neat city blocks with 90 degree corners, covered in stone and concrete. There are street names on every corner, and even a town center which contains most of the plant life of the cemetery. The fronts of the tombs are adorned with angles, carvings of Jesus, stained glass windows and plaques with the names of the deceased.
We enjoy historic cemetaries, and have visited them all over the world. Recoleta is uniquely Argentinian, and a true time capsule to behold.
We took a cab here and decided to take the advice of others and roam around on our own.
I always find cemetaries gruesome and this one was no exception,especially as many of the coffins are clearly visable inside their tombs.
It is easy to see that this cemetary is for the rich and famous. Sometombs are complete with private chapels and the monuments are outstanding.
It wasn't difficult to find Evita's grav...we followed the crowds.
Her tombwas one of the more modest ones but there were fresh flowers at the site and it is clear she lives on in the hearts of many.
First thoughts were that it's a little strange to make a cemetery such a big attraction, but it is interesting to see where the great and the good of Buenos Aires end up. Some of these places are bigger than my house I'm sure!
The cemetery was created in the former Franciscan monsatery's gardens around 1820. There is a mixture of architectural and sculptural mix where the deceased came from the high society and played an important role in Argentine history. The giant vaults, tombs and resting places are incredible and it feels more of a village than a cemetery.
The important residents that laid there includes the plots of former presidents, Argentine heros and most famous, Evita who is buried in the Familia Duarte Tomb. Evita's plot was fought as Buenos Aires Society did not want her to rest there and, even today, her grave is not signposted but you'll soon more or less find it by following the crowds.
I'm not a big fan of cemetaries, but the Recoleta Cemetary should be at the top of everyone's Buenos Aires sight seeing list. Walking through the cemetary is like walking down miniature streets in a lovely neighborhood. The metal work, stained class and marble is eye-poppingly good. The personal histories are enthralling. This last visit we discovered a section dedicated to generals and war memorials that was both interesting and educational.
I have been to Buenos Aires so many times and never been to the Cemetery. Liz loves cemeteries and wanted to see the tomb of Eva Peron. So Rob, Liz and I spent an afternoon wandering around and looking at some of the tombs of recoletta. The tombs range from simple to over the top elaborate. The elite of Buenos Aires society have been buried here and their tombs reflect their wealth and status. The main atraction is the cemetery is the Tomb of Eva Peron..you know you're there by the large crowd of people and tons of flowers surrounding the tomb.
Another atraction of the cemetery is the cats. I was surprised at how many cats roam free in the cemetery. Liz loves cats and was playing with each one we encountered....despite Rob and I protesting they were dirty.
I was glad I came and was surprised at how grand some of the tombs were....it is a must see in Buenos Aires.
Cementerio de la Recoleta is considered by many as one of the greatest necropolises in the world with over 6,400 tombs and mausoleums, many of which are recognized as National Historic Monuments.
Many of the wealthy Argentinians are buried here and you can see a wide range of tombs and mausoleums of the many diplomats, doctors and famous people.
The cementary is mapped out for easy accesability. We walked around the cementary aimlessly, just weaving in and out of the many tree lined avenues and small streets found here.
The architecture of many of these tombs and mausoleums are quite beautiful and are kept immaculate, while so many are in desperate need of repair. We peered into many that had structural damage, roofed caved in, broken glass, coffins strewn haphazardly, pictures on the ground, dirt, debris and garbage piled up in the tombs, broken mausoleums with coffins hanging out of them, and even some used as a place to store cat food, it was quite sad to see.
Druing our visit the the cementary we met a very sweet women who was visiting her late husband so we stopped to chat with her for awhile. This was one of our highlights during at the cementary.
And, not to forget the fact that this is the final resting place of a very famous Argentinian women, Eva (Evita) Duarte Peron!
The cementary also hosts a clan of cats, which are quite friendly and just go about their daily business of lounging and eating.
The cementary is open daily from 8am-5-45pm and there is no entrance fee.
NOTE: I've only included in this tip pics of those tombs and mausoleums that were in good condition. I have a travelogue with pics of the sad state of many of the other tombs and mausoleums you can find here in the cemetary as well.
Probably the most touristy district in Buenos Aires is Recoleta. It's here you find an over priced arty / souvenir market (on weekends) and restaurants that charge double than outlying areas. It's also where you find lots of famous dead people in the cemetery including several ex heads of state and of course, the pride and joy of the country, Evita a.k.a Eva Peron (don't cry now!) and don't make jokes or this could happen.
If you don't like cats then don't come here because the stray cats are breeding like rabbits or indeed err ..em...cats, in this dead zone and pissing like horses and the stench of cat pish can be over powering at times. The graves / tombs are elaborate to the point of being tacky and probably cost more to build than a 3 bed apartment uptown. It's a good central location though so maybe you could invite the relatives to stay at your tomb for a long weekend after you've snuffed it.
Although the 6pm curfew could be a tad awkward unless they can scale high walls. It seems to be par for the course in Buenos Aires to have very high walls around a cemetery and I'm still not sure if it's to keep the grave robbers out or the dead people in!
More tips and info available here -
Paddy in Buenos Aires
I might ask why I would visit cemetery, living of the dead. La Recoleta Cemetery historically is well known and attracts many visitors. It is where rich and famous Argentineans are buried.
I don’t know much the history of Argentina, but I have heard of Eva Peron from the movie Evita starring Madonna. "Dont cry for me Argentina". La Recoleta cemetery is her final resting place.
When we arrived at the cemetery the first we look for was her grave. Her grave is not just a grave, it is more like mausoleum. Compare to some of other mausoleum Eva tomb is simple. There are many marble plaques of her written in Spanish.
La Recoleta cemetery is one of the most important and beautiful cemetery in the world. As you enter you will see four ancient Greek columns. Inside the cemetery is laid out in sections, trees on both sides of the walkways leading to different mausoleums decorated with statues, Christian crucifixion and one we saw with Jewish symbol. There are mausoleums more elaborate than others even ostentatious.
I must admit it was worth visiting this grand La Recoleta Cemetery.
The cemetery is open every day from 10am until 5pm.
I'm not generally a cemetery-visiting sort of person, but this one is quite unique and deserves a visit, even if it's brief.
The rich and powerful of Buenos Aires' families are buried here. And the most notable grave is of Eva Peron, which is ironic because she came from the lowliest beginnings and worked hard to help out the poorest of Argentine families. To reach her family crypt you go about halfway down the main path as you enter then turn to the left. There will probably be a small crowd since there are guides that take groups around for a fee.
These elaborate crypts have several levels of underground chambers and can hold up to 30 cadavers. When they get fully occupied the oldest remains are cremated and space is made available again. On the day I was there I ran into several caretakers who were more than willing to explain the details.