La Recoleta Cemetery
is a famous cemetery
located in the exclusive Recoleta neighbourhood
of Buenos Aires
. The layout of the cemetery was designed by the French engineer Próspero Catelin
, and was remodeled in 1881, while Torcuato de Alvear
was mayor of the city, by the Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo
The Cemetery includes graves of some of the most influential and important persons of Argentina, including several presidents, scientists, and wealthy characters. Internationally, Eva Perón is the best known person buried in this cemetery.
The entrance to the cemetery is through neo-classical gates with tall Greek columns. The cemetery contains many elaborate marble mausoleums, decorated with statues, in a wide variety of architectural styles. The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums.
While many of the mausoleums are in fine shape and well-maintained, others have fallen into disrepair. Several can be found with broken glass, littered with rubbish, and on occasion you might find a mausoleum being used as a janitorial supply closet, with cleaning and maintenance products stored on top of coffins.
Each mausoleum bears the family name etched into the facade; brass or bronze plaques are added to the front for particular family members. La Recoleta is one of those cemeteries where the tradition of engraving a death date but no birth date has been maintained.
One interesting and unique aspect of La Recoleta is a colony of feral cats that resides within the gates. Although they can be spotted anytime, they tend to gather in groups of dozens near closing-time, when some locals feed them.
The cemetery was featured in the educational film Destinos as the final resting spot of a wife of the main character.
Famous people buried at La Recoleta
Some of the famous interred in La Recoleta Cemetery are:
- William Brown (admiral) (1777-1857), Admiral, Father of the Argentine Navy
- Juan Bautista Alberdi (1810-1884), writer, politician, lawyer
- Juan Pujol, the first Governor of the Province of Corrientes and designer of the First Argentine National Stamp.
- Luis César Amadori (1902-1977), poet, composer
- Nicolás Avellaneda (1837-1885), President of Argentina
- Susan Barrantes, (1937-1998), mother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
- Adolfo Bioy Casares (1914-1999), writer
- Miguel Juárez Celman (1844-1909), President of Argentina
- Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793-1877), politician, caudillo
- Luis Firpo (1894-1960), heavyweight boxer, "The Wild Bull of the Pampas"
- Oliverio Girondo (1891-1967), poet, journalist
- José Hernandez (1834-1886), writer
- Arturo Umberto Illia (1900-1983), President of Argentina
- Enrique Larreta (1875-1961), writer
- Luis F. Leloir (1906-1987), scientist, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry
- Leandro Alem (1844-1896) politician
- Cándido López (1840-1902), painter and soldier
- Vicente López y Planes (1785-1856), lyrcist, politician
- Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938), writer
- Eduardo Mallea (1903-1982), novelist, essayist
- Carlos Menditeguy (1915-1973), race car driver and sportsman
- Bartolomé Mitre (1821-1906), writer, former president
- Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979), writer, publisher
- Carlos Pellegrini (1846-1906), former president
- Luis Piedrabuena (1833-1883), explorer
- Maria Eva Duarte de Perón (1919-1952), First Lady of Argentina, Argentine political leader, philanthropist
- Honorio Pueyrredón (1876-1945), educator, statesman
- Hipólito Yrigoyen (1852-1933), politician, former president
- Dante Quinterno (1909-2003), cartoonist
- Carlos Saavedra Lamas (1878-1959), statesman, Nobel Peace Prize winner
- Domingo Sarmiento (1811-1888), writer, former president
- Juan Facundo Quiroga (1790-1835), caudillo (subject of the book Facundo; Sarmiento's most famous work; his remains were only recently discovered in the cemetery)
- Isabel Walewski Colonna (1847), grandchild of Napoleón Bonaparte, born in Buenos Aires and died aged 6 days.