To some it might seem a little morbid but I have always been fascinated by cemeteries. There's a combination of history, architecture, and genealogy in cemeteries that you can't find anywhere else. In Buenos Aires I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite cemeteries ever: The Recoleta Cemetery. It was huge, old, and had many historical figures from Argentina buried there, including the famous Eva Peron. In addition it had beautiful statues and works of art.
Some of the structures were huge and stood three or four stories tall. Others were small simple one roomed mausoleums. This one happened to be three stories tall and had a nice bust of some Argentine leader of the past on top!
Others like the one below were underground and looked like the perfect house for a vampire. If I were a vampire I would insist upon living in a mausoleum like the one in the picture below.
The cemetery is set up in narrow little alleys surrounded by mausoleums which house the remains from particular families. It is an easy and fantastic place to be lost in. Most of the families buried in the Recoleta Cemetery must have been rather wealthy because the structures they could afford to build are impressive. It is also an old cemetery founded around 1882 so it is certainly full of bodies and in places can be a little creepy. I'd love to be able to come and check it out at night sometime.
One of the things that was most striking about the cemetery was the juxtaposition of new modern mausoleums next to old decrepit mausoleums that had not been cared for in years. Observe these beautiful well kept modern mausoleums.
And look at this one...see what I mean...not so nice...
This one is cool not only because it's a trashed mausoleum but also because this dead person, or this dead person's family, chose to put a skull and crossbones on his grave. Maybe he was a pirate in life!
Some of the mausoleums even had the fronts of them falling off and exposing the coffins inside. Kind of creepy but also kind of cool, like I stepped off the streets of Buenos Aires into a horror movie!
Another thing I really enjoyed about the cemetery were how deep the mausoleums actually were. Some held 20 or 30 coffins and must have held generations of dead families. Most mausoleums are built as small buildings that range from 10 to 30 feel tall. Almost all of them have a staircase which descends down into a crypt. In some mausoleums the structure was so old that the floor had fallen out exposing the crypt below and the large amount of coffins kept beneath the above ground mausoleum structure.
Eva Peron had a very small unassuming mausoleum in a nondescript part of the cemetery. The only thing differentiating it from the surrounding tombs was the large crowd of people clustered around it.
I would say without hesitation that the Recoleta is the coolest cemetery I have ever been in. For me cemeteries are always interesting, but in the Recoleta cemetery takes the cake for the most interesting cemetery I've ever seen. Check it out if you're ever in Buenos Aires, you will not be disappointed.
It's sure great to finally have my camera working! Thanks Mom for bringing me batteries and a battery charger. I hope to really start filling out this blog in the next year and a half. More later hope everyone is having fun wherever you might be!