Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

The Chacarita Cemetery

Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 11:40 am. 1 comment

The Chacarita Cemetery

For most Argentines, the idea of visiting a cemetery is a sad occasion reserved for visiting the tombs and graves of loved ones. However, one of the top tourist destinations in Buenos Aires is Recoleta Cemetery. The imposing, white stone walls of this graveyard hold exquisite and elegant funereal examples of architecture. And, however ghoulish this pastime may seem to Argentines, the tiny chapels and elaborately decorated crypts of the Porteño cemeteries are what attract tourists to visit. Chacarita Cemetery is no exception.

The cemetery of Chacarita was established in 1871, during the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the city of Buenos Aires. The city’s graveyards were practically overflowing and the Recoleta cemetery did not allow for yellow fever victims to be buried there and so five hectares of land were set aside for the construction of a cemetery. The chosen location was in the Chacarita neighbourhood in the west of the city on land that was originally owned by Jesuit missionaries.

According to official records, the first person to be buried there was bricklayer Manuel Rodríguez. He was the first of very many with the cemetery’s size growing from 5 hectares to the 95 hectares that it occupies present day, making it the largest cemetery in Buenos Aires. The yellow fever epidemic was so severe that it was recorded that in just one day 564 people were buried and the municipality had to construct a train line to carry the bodies to the site for burial. You can also read about the Cementerio de la Recoleta in this Buenos Aires travel guide.

The cemetery is the final resting place of some important Argentine figures, including the world famous tango singer, Carlos Gardel and General Juan Perón, Evita’s husband. If you want to pay your respects then the cemetery is open year round from 7am to 6pm. There are even free guided tours every second and fourth Saturday of each month at 11am. To get there just catch the B line subway to Federico Lacroze station and when you come out you won’t be able to miss the stunning cream coloured entrance arch and black decorative gates.

One Reply

  1. Royce Sieler Jun 14th 2011

    Really good piece of writing and certainly aids with becoming familiar with the topic better.