The Eerie Beauty Of La Recoleta

%Qc9njkcRXm6PZFS9+gHfgOur 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.

Guillermo_Brown_1865As 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.

Zh7gySzHRkuGPKERIPQJ2QAnother 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:

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40 thoughts on “The Eerie Beauty Of La Recoleta”

  1. The artwork in the cemetery is breathtaking, but some of the stories are so terribly sad. I suppose all such cemeteries are the same – beautiful, old, and melancholy.

  2. Jonathan:

    You’ve written and spoken so eloquently, in the past, about the issue of torture, and today is the “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.”

    https://www.neweurope.eu/article/international-day-in-support-of-victims-of-torture/

    “The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is celebrated on 26 June.”

    ‘UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, I urge all States to end impunity for perpetrators and eradicate these reprehensible acts that defy our common humanity. ”

    ‘The European Union reiterated its strongest opposition to any kind of acts of torture worldwide, in its declaration, saying: “Through its external action, the EU and its Member States also engage with third countries in regular political and human rights dialogues and financially support civil society organisations in fighting torture.”’

    1. Watching the Dims battle it out bi-lingually and MsNBC stumble through it technically (raise your hand if you think Samantha Guthrie is anything but a pleasant looking shill for the Left) likely qualifies all of us for protection from torture.

        1. Cindy Bragg:

          Fools Forum II was quite the eye-opener! Who knew you could be for busing kids all over town but against Department of Education busing kids all over town. Must be akin to Julian Castro’s tranny men having the right to abortion in round 1. Kamala went all “Goldilocks” on us with the squealing “that little girl was meeee!” Bernie admitting to larceny of our money to fund his “healthcare is a right for illegals if not American war vets” was quite honest if profoundly and insidiously self-flagellating. Personal favorite was Jillybrand explaining that Trump is all for war with Iran and obviously that’s why he passed on striking the Mullacracy for shooting down our drone. Oxymoron much, moron?

              1. LOL mespo…… or Zootopia…… Killer Klowns from Outer Space…..The Departed…. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes….
                The Longest Day (or just seems like it)……. Revenge of the Nerds…. Look Who’s Talking……Neverland…….
                I Thank a Fool………🤣

          1. Don’t forget Marianne Williamson! She’s my top choice to debate Trump!!

            One of her tweets from 2012 ———>

            “Your body is merely your space station from whence you beam your love to the universe.Don’t just relate to the station; relate to the beams.”

            9:12 AM – 31 Mar 2012

              1. mespo…LOL not far off. (and great song)
                Marianne was married to one of our dearest friends in the late 1970’s. Mercifully, she left him after a couple of years.
                I’m quite sure anyone wanting to make a campaign contribution can send a check c/o St. Elizabeth’s in DC and they’ll see that she gets it.

                  1. mespo…..I had forgotten all about Jordan Peterson.
                    McRaven’s video is powerful. I’m going to play it for my grandsons.
                    BTW…..hubby is always telling them to start each day with making their beds!

                1. Texas and California are among the states where indexes of marriage licenses and divorce decrees have been extensively digitized if the legal action occurred within a certain span of years. If she was issued a marriage license in Texas any time prior to 2015 or in California prior to 1986, it should be readily located. Nothing comes up. The Wiki biography is vague on that point.

                  Kind of amusing that people whose trade is giving us all life lessons commonly have personal failures of a severity way above the median. (See Esther Friedman Lederer and her daughter Margo Lederer [insert name of current husband]; or Mrs. Eat-Pray-Love).

                  1. TIA x 9……I can’t remember where in Houston the ceremony took place….She wanted the friends of the groom, our friend, at the reception, ONLY.. So we were invited to the reception which was at the Warwick Hotel…….(now the Zaza) near my parents’ house. Her dad spent big bucks on that wedding and reception.
                    Wikipedia is wrong…….she came back to Houston from NYC before 1979 to open her book store. Our friend, by now her husband, officiated at another of our friends’ wedding in 1979..She came to that wedding, where he officiated, and sat in a closet off the sanctuary during the entire wedding, and wouldn’t come out! She depressed the hell out of all of us……..because she was nuts.

                    1. I like Jordan Peterson’s take on the do-gooder mentality. If you want to clean-up and re-organize the world, start by cleaning up and re-organizing your own room.
                      Sort of a take-off on Admiral McRaven’s “make our bed” address:

                    2. TIA X 9…….I just found our friend and Marianne’s divorce on Ancestry.com. It has her name as Marianne D. (then my friend’s last name which is misspelled!) The divorce was granted August 29, 1980 in Houston (Harris Co) They had not been married a full year!! Marriage was Dec 16, 1979…….and the wedding where he officiated was Dec 29, 1979.
                      I did not remember the marriage was so brief! All of that expense for that reception….her dad must have been really pleased…ha! At least our friend, who now has Parkinson’s, did remarry a few years later. His 2nd wife is a sweet, loving, beautiful and intelligent woman.

                    3. Cindy Bragg says: June 28, 2019 at 9:14 AM

                      “She came to that wedding, where he officiated, and sat in a closet off the sanctuary during the entire wedding, and wouldn’t come out! She depressed the hell out of all of us……..because she was nuts.”

                      I’m guessing there’s another side to the story. Maybe M. would like to weigh in.

              1. It is classic Marianne…and though I am sort of making fun, I also happen to know her and admire her…and I applaud her for making her voice heard on the debate stage and getting people talking about her today. She is a spiritual guru/teacher, yes, but she is indeed a strong woman who will punch back hard, if challenged. She does not hesitate to (verbally) punch a shark (any shark!) in the snout as she sees fit. I know from first hand experience. 😉

            1. anonymous………no, there is not another side to the ” Marianne refuses to come out of a closet during a wedding……..and glares at anyone who tries to speak to her and offer help.”.
              If you had been there, you would have agreed. She is a deeply disturbed and very selfish person

  3. La Recoleta is hardly the most impressive cemetery. Of course, my standard for “impressive” doesn’t involve works of art and monuments, but the people themselves that are buried at the cemetery and those peoples’ characters, minds, contributions, and the ways in which they’ve had a profound impact on our world.

    So, with that in mind, my two standouts are the Central Cemetery in Vienna and Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

    At the Central Cemetery are the remains of . . . Alfred Adler, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms,Carl Czerny,Viktor Frankl, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Karl Eugen Neumann, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schubert, David Schwarz, Eduard Strauss, Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss, and Joe Zawinul, just to name a handful.

    At the Westwood Village are the remains of. . . Eddie Albert, Richard Anderson, Eve Arden, Hy Averback, Lew Ayres, Ray Bradbury, Jim Backus, Richard Basehart, Robert Bloch, Lloyd Bochner, Fanny Brice, Les Brown, Sebastian Cabot,Sammy Cahn, Truman Capote,John Cassavetes, James Coburn, Tim Conway, Bob Crane, Rodney Dangerfield, Ariel Durant, Will Durant, Peter Falk, Farrah Fawcett, Stan Freberg, Eva Gabor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Merv Griffin, Jonathan Harris, Hugh Hefner, Florence Henderson, James Wong Howe, Ross Hunter, Jim Hutton, Louis Jourdan, Louis Kaufman, Beatrice Kay, Brian Keith, Gene Kelly, Stan Kenton, Jack Klugman, Don Knotts, Burt Lancaster, Peggy Lee, Ernest Lehman, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Oscar Levant, Jay Livingston, Sondra Locke, Robert Loggia, Karl Malden, Janet Margolin, and Dean Martin, to name only a few.

    And, to my knowledge, Westwood has the funniest epitaph ever written on a tombstone:
    “There goes the neighborhood.”–Rodney Dangerfield

  4. Lest we forget:

    “Argentina: Bodies of 600 disappeared wait to be identified”

    “The Remembrance, Truth and Justice Mausoleum for the Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism is at a cemetery in La Plata, a town about 35 miles (58 kilometers) from Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. It holds the remains of at least a dozen people who were disappeared during the dictatorship.”

    By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA
    April 5, 2019

    https://www.apnews.com/30b0ffc6d3e74b94b7511bafd04fce23

    Excerpt:

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Bonnie and Daniel Loedel walked into a mausoleum with an urn holding the bone remains of their sister Isabel, who had been unidentified for four decades after being forcibly disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

    Delivering the simple wooden box was the last step of an arduous identification process that they hope will bring the family closure and, at the same time, thwart the goal of the military regime that human rights groups estimate killed or disappeared 30,000 people while seeking to make its victims invisible.

    The Remembrance, Truth and Justice Mausoleum for the Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism is at a cemetery in La Plata, a town about 35 miles (58 kilometers) from Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. It holds the remains of at least a dozen people who were disappeared during the dictatorship.

    The remains are a few of those identified by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, an independent group of scientists who developed their expertise identifying victims of the 1976-1983 military junta and have since helped unravel human rights atrocities in more than 50 countries.

    Friends and family of Isabel Loedel recently gathered at the mausoleum to say goodbye to Isabel, whose remains were identified only last year. She has now rejoined her partner, Julio Di Giacinti, who was identified by the forensic team seven years ago. Both were killed in early 1978 by dictatorship agents.

    The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team has been working since 1984, a year after Argentina’s return to democracy. It has recovered the bodies of more than 1,400 disappeared people and identified 795 of them.

  5. Just for giggles, I looked up US Embassy travel advisory for Argentina

    Argentina is one of the safest countries for travelers in Latin America, but petty crime does occur. Here’s what to look out for to stay safe in Argentina.

    Distraction Theft
    Bar Scams
    Pickpockets
    Carjacking
    Luggage Theft

    Travelers should be cautious in touristy areas, including La Boca, San Telmo, downtown, and in the Retiro bus terminal, where robberies are common. Avoid shady neighborhoods including Villa Lugano and Villa Riachuelo, especially after dark. In La Boca, stick to the main tourist precinct, even during the day.

    1. The treavel advisory for NYC is kind of similar. Do not trust those from the Bronx. If they say “turdy turd and a turd” for 33rd Street and 3rd Avenue then be careful.

    1. Their governing class can’t make a good decision to save their lives. They’re in the middle of a recession, while their annualized inflation rate is running at 56% per year. Their employment-to-population ratio is, at 0.35, just about the occidental world’s lowest (in a normal occidental country, that ratio is about 0.60; the current employment-to-populaiton ratios in Chile and Uruguay are around 0.57 and their inflation rates are around 7.5%).

  6. You don’t have to be rich in order to have a perfect day, but you’re more likely to have perfect days if you are.

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