Our third day in Buenos Aires featured great food and arguably the single most impressive cemetery in the world, La Recoleta. We walked around Buenos Aires and then ended up at a wonderful local steak house with Argentine friends for a late night dinner. It was a perfect day.
La Recoleta is the resting place of many of the most famous figures from Argentine history, including Eva Perón. It is 14 acres with 4691 of some of the world’s most elaborate and artistic vaults, including some with winding stairs leading below the vaults. The art is captivating. Some vaults have been opened and caskets exposed to the elements. The vault for the Duarte family has fresh flowers for the final resting place of Argentine icon Eva Peron. Also buried at the cemetery is the granddaughter of Napoleon.
As a military history nut, one vault particularly caught my eye. It is the final resting place of the founder of the Argentine Navy, William Brown. Irish-born, Brown fought in the War for Independence as well as the Cisplatine War and the blockade of the Rio de la Plata. Behind his grave is a smaller grave for his daughter. His daughter was to be married to one of the captains of his father who died in battle. After she was told of the loss, she dressed herself in her wedding gown and threw herself into a river.
Another of the images shows the tomb of Rufina Cambaceres depicting a young woman tearfully opening heaven’s door. The image reflects a terrible tragedy in which the daughter of a writer was wrongly declared dead and buried alive. She was buried trying to scratch her way out of the coffin.
The cemetery is truly unique. It has a tremendous beauty but also an obvious eerie quality to the many works of art. In one tomb, you can see a string of pearls laid across a small shelf. The only living occupants are a large number of cats who roam about and will crawl into your lap if you let them. This proved one of the most memorable places that I have visited in my life and I could not recommend it more.
We followed a wonderful lunch in the Recoleta area with a long walk back to the hotel. We then met friends at a local steak house for a long evening of terrific food and another great Argentinian Malbec. We walk back in a light rain around midnight (which is hardly surprising in a city where dinners often start after eight).
Here are some of the pictures: