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.
Every guidebook and tip will recommend a visit to the cemetery. I wouldn't advise otherwise; it is fascinating. Take time to peer into some of the crypts, take notice of the peculiar designs, and savor the history of old Buenos Aires.
There is also some interesting people watching here. You will encounter locals here for the cemetery's originally intended purpose, but many more tourists and locals just out for a walk. All walks of life are represented: rich elders in furs to young teenagers just out and about.
Don't bother to buy the cemetery map that they sell at the entrance. There is a large map inside the cemetery, but you will probably just want to wander around anyway.
The Recoleta Cemetery is without doubt one of the strangest places I´ve ever visited. Each family seems to be trying to outdo the other in terms of who has the largest, most ornamental, intricately decorated tombstones. Tombstone is the wrong word as many of the final resting places in Recoleta are more like huge temples or homes - I´ve never seen anywhere quite like it.
The one tomb that all visitors come to see, that of the Duarté family (where Evita is buried) is much less ostentatious than the others. Interestingly, there was much opposition to the Duarté plot from upper class Argentinians, who felt the Duartés were too common a family to merit a plot in Recoleta.
Many other well known Argentinians are buried here and a map at the entrance shows you who is buried where. I was quite surprised to see a number of Irish names amongst the burial plots. The most famous of these is Admirante Brown, originally from Mayo, who played a big part in the War of Independence and who is something of a national hero in Argentina.
There are free guided tours in English of the cemetery every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am, but if you can't make these it's just as good exploring on your own.
The cemetry of Recoleta is an amazing place. It looks like a small walled town. It is mentioned to be the most expensive property in Argentina. Many important figures in the the history of this country are buried here, including Evita Peron.
Do take some time to visist the cemetry.
It is open daily from 07h00 to 18h00.
This is the burial ground for the rich and famous of Argentina. The most expensive property in the country. Inaugarated in 1882. This is where Eva Peron and members of the Duarte family are encrypted. It is open daily 7am to 6pm. Free admission. Maps are for sale at the entrance(1-2 US dollars). There a lots of stray cats that wander through the cemetery.
It's one of the most distinguished cemeteries of the world. It was founded in 1822 by the recoletos monks. It has famous sculptures and graves where illustrious personages rest, many of which are considered to be Historical Monuments.
It may seem weird to visit a cemetery, but I really recommend this visit!!
Es uno de los cementerios mas destacados del mundo. Fue fundado en 1822 por los monjes recoletos. Posee famosas esculturas y tumbas donde descansan personajes ilustres, muchas de las cuales son consideradas Monumentos Historicos.
Puede sonar extraño visitar un cementerio, pero de verdad que recomiendo esta visita!!
Wandering through the wide avenues and narrow alleys of the Cemeterio de Recoleta, all lined with an amazing assortment of mausolea, is quite fascinating, and a favourite weekend occupation of Portenos (the name Buenos Aires residents are generally known by). For a great overview of the statues and adornments of the tombs, be sure to visit the museum in the cloisters of the Basilica Nuestra Senora de Pilar next door where windows overlook the cemetery.
The cemetery's most notorious "resident" is Maria Eva Duerte de Peron - aka Evita - there's always a crowd around her family mausoleum which, apart from the dedicatory plaques and flowers for Evita herself, is a very dull affair when compared to many of the tombs found here.
Just as the city outside is a sampler of architectural styles of the late 19th and 20th centuries, so too are the miniature houses of the dead here in the cemetery. Art Noveau is a popular theme, but neoclassicalism, Gothic, Art Deco and more all make an appearance. Angels are everywhere, stained glass adorns white marble and black onyx, there are statues of heroes, busts of the great and the good (and not-so-good, I'm sure) and touching sculptures of children - look out for the bronze maiden and her dog standing outside one of the newer tombs.
Unless you're really interested in a who's who of Argentinian society - only the rich and socially acceptable are laid to rest here - I'm not sure that I'd bother to take a tour, but just to wander for a while is fascinating and browsing this excellent website put together by ex-BA-dweller, photographer and city guide extraordinaire Robert Wrighton, is a great way to explore the alleys and hidden corners at your leisure.
Recoleta is most known for the grand Cementerio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery), founded in 1822 for the wealthy, the powerful and the famous. It is the most luxury and important cemetery of Latin America because of the magnificence splendor of the mausoleums as well as for the famous people buried there. One of Argentina's architectural gems, it is four hectares big and crammed with exquisitely designed headstones and graceful monuments (sculptures and carving statues in iron, bronze and marble).
Of the cemetery's most famous residents, one in particular receives most of the attention: Maria Eva Duarte Peron or Evita. The burial site can easily be located by following the guided tours or by seeking out the mass of visitors. The cemetery also contains the tombs of writers, scientists, national heroes and former presidents, exhibiting a variety of architectural styles.
It is open daily 7am-6pm; there are guided tours on every last Sunday of month from March to November at 2:30pm; free admission.
more pics in the Travelogue
Recoleta Cemetery (1822) is the last resting place of the prominent in Argentina. It was mid-day when we made our way through the narrow walkways formed by row after row of miniature mausoleums--6400 people are entombed within the thirteen acre cemetery.
The heat radiated off the tombs, yet many people were taking their time reading the plaques affixed to their walls. Presidents, dignitaries and the celebrated rest in family crypts here. It is a place for the affluent, yet a commoner was buried in this cemetery, too...Eva Peron, (wife of Argentinian leader Juan Peron) who is lying in the Duarte family tomb. We noticed it was a popular stop with the visitors.
Most of the graves are well kept, but a few were decaying from lack of care, displaying shattered windows and discheveled contents like altars and stained altar cloths. While visitors roamed the grounds, cats soaked up the sun on the tomb's marble steps seemingly oblivious to passers by.
Recoleta is open daily from 8 am -6 pm.
The cementario de recoleta is a must see in Buenos Aries. Its a maze of over 5000 crypts, mostly of famous argentines including eva peron. You can take the english guided tour at 11am on tuesday for free, or just wander round.
All the crypts vary so much from those untouched for hundreds of years to very modern ones. Its a unique sight and very interesting. Allow 1-2 hours.
The nearby area has plenty of nice cafes for lunch afterwards.
Ya se que no es normal visitar cementerios cuando vas de turista , pero en Buenos Aires hay que visitar La Recoleta
La vida y la muerte
Recoleta, un barrio tan ambivalente,
por un lado la vida, por el otro la muerte.
Bares, restaurantes, parques florecientes,
feria de artesanos, risas de la gente.
La muerte los mira silenciosamente,
paz del cementerio, del lado de enfrente.
Detrás de sus muros reposa el valiente,
poetas, deportistas, varios presidentes,
atrapa el misterio de jóvenes niñas,
de historias de amor y bellas durmientes.
Angeles custodian sus sueños truncado...,
Poesía: Susana Espósito
I know that is not normal to visit cemeteries when you are like a tourist , but in Buenos Aires you must visit The Recoleta
The life and the dead
The Recoleta , a district ambivalent
in one side the life and in the other the death
Bars , restaurants , flowered parks
artisans fair , laughs of the people
the death looks them silently
cemetery peace in the opposite side
Behind its walls rests the brave
poets , sportsmen , several presidents
grabs the mystery of young girls
of love stories and sleeping beauties
Angels keep their broken dreams...
Poet : Susana Espósito
(sorry for the translation is difficult for me)
This was a wonderful place to visit! It's free to get in ---but I'd have paid $10 to go in because the tombs, the statues, the buildings were so beautiful in a trdgic way. Some of the tombs have suffered from neglect and so the walls and roofs have collapsed leaving wooden coffins open to the elements. Such a lack of dignity for the dead. Other tombs have been build in recent years and they are in good condition. Those who have been buried here have paid for the government of Buenos Aires to maintain the cemetery, we were told ----but until recently money was not being spent on the place.
Evita Peron's tomb has dark doors ---there was a red rose in the door when we were there. There is another Peron tomb elsewhere in the cemetery ---perhaps Evita's relations?
Many of the tombs are decorated with carvings of the person inside and there lots had pictorial representations of that person's life.
There is a full size statue of a girl with her pet dog, buried in 1974, if I remember correctly. It's a wonderful piece of work.
Look also at the roofs of the buildings: many have ornate skylights and vents.
I will be adding photos of this place soon.
About 5 minutes walk from here is a huge tree, amongst bars and restaurants. It is vast! See if you can find it!
Would I visit this place again? Yes!
The cemetery was founded as a Catholic cemetery in 1822, right after the expulsion of the Recolet order. It was built were the Recolet's orchard used to be. In 1881 and 2003 it went under remodelation. In 1863 it was declared a public cemetery, where people from other cultures/religions could be "buried".
Although it is supposed to be a public cemetery, in the present it is more like a private one. Only people whose families own a vault, crypt or mausoleum can be laid to rest there. Originally, people were buried in this cemetery, but as time went by they ran out of space. This is the smallest cemetery in Buenos Aires (only 5 has, or 12.36 acres). They decided to stop buring and it became a cemetery of mausoleums, vaults and crypts, which have a maximum depth of 8 meters. This way they could hold many more caskets than buring them. Some of the older tombs can still be found, for example San Martin's wife's tomb (1823).
The buildings of the cemetery are amazing works of art. Many of them were built by european architects who even brought the materials (marble, stone and even sand) from Europe. Some vaults were actually copied from famous european cemeteries.
Many of Argentina's personalities rest here. You will find people like Evita, several nobel prize winners (Leloir's vault is a must-see), writers, presidents, etc.
It's a great place to visit. There are free guided tours every hour.
There are several options for visiting Recoleta Cemetery. There are free guided tours, currently at 11 am on Tuesday and Thursday in English. There are paid tours such as the one offered by Tango History Tours, many of the city tours include a stop here or you can do like we did and do a self guided tour. It seemed like a lot of the bus tours were there right about 11 am so this might not be the best time to visit.
Most people will seek out Evita's tomb (look for Family Duarte, not Peron) because she will be the only person buried there that they know. But have a look around at some of the other tombs, works of art created in memory of their loved ones.
The only other person we knew of was Luis Firpo, a heavyweight boxer made famous by his fight with Jack Dempsey, immortalized in a painting by George Bellows. You'll also want to find the tomb for the Paz Family who owned the La Prensa newspaper and the Art Deco tomb that was erected by the mother of Rufina Cambaceres who was buried alive because she was in a coma, subsequently saved by some workers who heard her screaming.
I noticed that a lot of the tombs bore the same names as the streets in Buenos Aires, if you go on a guided tour, surely they would tell you the history behind some of these names.
If you are visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, be sure to check out the Recolata Market nearby. And watch out for all the resident cats, local ladies feed the cats daily and they can be seen darting in and out of the alley ways.
This is on EVERYONE's list, and with good reason. Once you get inside the cemetery gates, you've entered a new world. Not just a spooky world of the buried, but really and truly, a city of the dead.
It's really a beautiful world. With great architecture, and fantastic marble, and granite, and bronze sculptural markers. Of course, if you follow the crowds, you'll come upon the cemetery's most famous inhabitant, Evita...there will probably be some flowers, and lots of people posing for photos in front of her final resting place.