This Cemetary in the Recoleta area of Buenos Aires is famous as the resting place of Eva Peron. But it is so much more than that.
The cemetary is like a little city, with streets and a skyline and varying architecture – it’s a labyrinth of mausoleums.
This is still an active cemetary, as families own the tombs and continue to pay an annual fee and are responsible for all upkeep. Families do have the choice to sell the land and you can see here a relatively new tomb beside an older one and more plain one that hasn’t seen any change in decades.
In the case of Eva Peron, she is laid to rest in her Duarte family plot. She had quite the journey after her death in 1952 at age 33 (due to cervical cancer). Her husband Juan Peron preserved her body and it was on display. Following a military coup where he lost power, Eva’s body was hiden and then moved and buried in Italy for 17 years under a fake name. Her body was returned to Argentina, and this Recoleta cemetary in 1974 (under the direction of Juan’s third wife who ended up being President after he died).
Everywhere you look, there are interesting stories – like this young woman Lilianna who died on her honeymoon in Switzerland. Her statue was made with her in her wedding dress, with the family dog… which is apparently good luck if you rub his nose.
For me, it was most interesting to look inside the more modest tombs to see the caskets (some clearly visible, others down a flight of stairs) and the photos that were placed inside. It didn’t feel right for me to take photos of that – it’s a special and sacred thing that touched my heart.
I also just looked up… where the most amazing sights were found.