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January 18, 2013

Cementerio de la Recoleta

On a nice hot day in BA, when the temperature is 31 and the humidex rating is 40, what better thing could there be to do, but visit a cemetery!


But first, how about a song and dance with the first clown we can find....


The origins of Recoleta Cemetery go back to monks arriving in this part of Buenos Aires in the 1700s. At that time, this area was on the outskirts of the city. The order disbanded in the 1800s and the convent garden was turned into BA's first cemetery.
On its 5.5 hectares there are over 4700 vaults, all above ground. Almost 100 of these have been declared National Historical Monuments and are cared for by the state. Some have fallen into disrepair.
The cemetery is arranged in city blocks. With all that concrete and marble, and not many trees, it is a hot, humid place indeed.
The place is full of the rich and famous and mainly powerful. There are many presidents and generals. Eva Peron is here in the family vault. It is largely unassuming among its neighbours and it took a while to find the thing.

 

Amidst the 4700+ permanent residents of the cemetery, there are also 80 scrawny cats roaming the place. They are strays and apparently fed by women who visit on a regular basis. They don't always show themselves but here we find two resting in the all to infrequent shade. That would be the cats, not the women.




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