Cementerio De La Recolet has over 4,000 vaults, it’s home to politicians, actors, and poets.
Before even stepping foot within this gorgeous cemetery a feeling of peace and history ebbs over the walls. Created in 1822 and set on 14 acres of land, the Recoleta Cemetery is a famous landmark of Buenos Aires. With over 4,000 vaults, this cemetery is home to politicians, actors, poets, and anyone else who can pay the hefty price to own a family mausoleum. This cemetery is completely unique, characterized a small city of mausoleums housed behind a wall within the lustrous barrio of Recoleta. One can spend an entire afternoon here, meandering around and getting lost among the crisscrossed old paths and admiring the numerous mausoleums that change appearance in both architecture and upkeep.
If you visit on a weekend, especially Sundays, do not be surprised to see family members paying their respects by unlocking vaults and delivering flowers and other small offerings. Others wander in regularly off of the streets simply to take in the history. And no matter the day of the week, you are sure to witness a crowd of tourists huddled around Evita’s tomb. For those unfamiliar with Argentine history, María Eva (Evita) Perón, wife of President Juan Perón, has been immortalized in Argentine history for her role in speaking on behalf of labor rights in addition to championing women’s suffrage across the country. Other famous Argentine’s buried here include, President Domingo Sarmiento, poet José Hernandez and the founder of the Argentine navy, among others. Another thing of note is the abundance of cats—may it be because of all the nice shady areas or simply to increase the so-called “spookiness” of graveyards. In every nook and cranny, there are cats. Friendly little fellows actually, that is, if you give them a second look.
Easily accessible by bus or subway (D line, get off at the Pueyrredon stop), the cemetery is completely free and definitely a must see. When you’re done, head outside the gates to neighboring Plaza Francia where an artisanal market is in full swing on the weekends. An interesting junction of the old and the ever present, ongoing rush of life, Recoleta is calling to you.