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Top 10 of the Recoleta cemetery

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Top 10: Cementerio de la Recoleta

A small city of the deceased, the Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most famed sights in Buenos Aires. Since the middle of the 19th century, the most influential and wealthy Argentines have been buried in this necropolis. The above-ground cemetery is a mish-mash of stylized tombs, all packed in closely, and separated by streets and passageways. Here are the top 10 things to see when visiting this glorified graveyard.

1. Evita: Eva Duarte de Perón

Evita was considered the spiritual leader of the nation, and her death was greatly mourned all over the world. She fought for many civil liberties, and is still one of the most treasured figures of Argentina’s past. Here, she is buried as Eva Duarte, in a relatively modest tomb, although it is always adorned with flowers, and has a smattering of plaques commemorating her and her life.

2. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento

Sarmiento was Argentina’s president from 1868 until 1974. What makes his tomb unique is that he designed it himself, in keeping with his association as a Freemason. The tomb contains many Masonic symbols, including the all-seeing eye, pyramids, and compasses.


3. The Leloir Family

This grand family crypt is typical of the motivated and optimistic attitude of the mid-19th century Argentine upper class. It is build like a Greek temple, and its statues were actually constructed in Europe, like many of the other tombs constructed in this period.

4. Pantheon of Outstanding Citizen

This corner of the cemetery is more significant in its importance than in its grandeur. Here, many of the most important people from the time of Argentina’s independence are buried, and even those from that period who aren’t buried here are commemorated with plaques and cenotaphs. For more information about thePantheon and about Recoleta, see this Buenos Aires Travel Guide.

5. Benediction Chapel

This chapel is especially beautiful. While the altar may be rather small, the marble cross standing above it is certainly not lacking in size or grandeur. It was created by Giulio Monteverde, an Italian sculptor, in 1882, and is a great representation of Christ, dying, on the cross.


6. José C. Paz

This is considered one of the most beautiful tombs in the entire cemetery, both for its subject matter and the pure artistic skill that went into its creation. Made for the founder of La Prensa, one of the nation’s most important newspapers, it is an image of an angel taking a soul to heaven, leaving its body on earth.

7. Dorrego-Ortiz Basualdo

This tomb is particularly interesting because it contains both a Christian cross and a Jewish menorah. The idea is to show the religious conversion the family made when they moved to Argentina in the 16th century, paying homage to the family roots.


8. William Brown

This memorial is especially sad and complex. It celebrates the man who founded the Argentine navy, but it also holds the remains of his daughter, who committed suicide by drowning after her fiancé died.

9. Carlos Pelligrini

A greatly influential man in life, and one of the most celebrated presidents in death, Carlos Pelligrini was responsible for leading the nation through an unbearably difficult financial period in the late 1800s. Today, he can be seen conducting business above his coffin, with two figures at his side: the female represents the republic, and the child represents the future.

10. Pantheon of the Fallen in the 1890 Revolution

Another memorial to outstanding citizens, those who lost their lives in the revolution of 1890 are remembered here, and many of the leaders of the Radical Party also have been lain to rest here.

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