Recoleta Cemetery is one of the top attractions in the city of Buenos Aires, as it is the place of internment for some of the most notable figures in the history of Argentina. It is also a place of vast architectural interest and one of the most unique cultural spots in the city. The Cementerio de la Recoleta is situated in the upscale neighborhood of Recoleta and was designed by a French engineer by the name of Prospero Catelin. The history and facts about Recoleta Cemetery tell us that the entire layout was remodeled in 1881 under the direction of the Italian architect, Juan Antonio Buschiazzo. Today, throngs of people descend upon the cemetery to witness the elaborate grave sites and to learn more about where Argentina’s most prized sons and daughters are laid to rest.
In a city that contains seemingly limitless tango clubs, restaurants, theaters, and cafes, you may be wondering why anyone should want to spend any time at a cemetery. The fact is, the Recoleta Cemetery is much more than just an average cemetery. The architecture alone is worth a visit. The entrance to the Cementerio de la Recoleta takes you through formidable, neo-classical gates whose signature elements are the tall Greek columns. Once inside, you will witness the most elaborate and elegant mausoleums in all of Argentina. Many of them are made completely of marble and adorned with extremely detailed carvings as well as impressive statues in many different kinds of architectural and artistic styles. Much like Pere LaChaise in Paris, this cemetery serves as a sculpture garden as much as it does a cemetery.
There is a very methodical layout contained within the cemetery. The gravesites are separated by tree-lined walkways that branch off to the various mausoleums. Each one of these mausoleums is engraved with the family name of the person interned there, usually on a brass or bronze plate of some sort. One of the best-known facts about Recoleta Cemetery (and a major reason why many people choose to visit this attraction in Buenos Aires) is that it is the resting place of Eva Peron, one of the most important and noteworthy figures in Buenos Aires's history. Although there are a multitude of extremely famous Argentineans interned here, from writers and artists to presidents and soldiers, hers is the most internationally recognized name. Many people visit the Cementerio de la Recoleta just to see this one grave. The inexpensive fee to get in makes this well worth the visit if you happen to be a fan or appreciator of her life and work.
You’ll also need to know some basic facts about Recoleta Cemetery before planning your vist. Tours of the cemetery are available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. You have the option of taking a guided tour, which is very valuable in helping you gain a better understanding of just who is buried here, and why these individuals are held in such high esteem in their home country. It is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Opening times at the Cementerio de la Recoleta are subject to change on the holidays. Some of the other most notable people interned at the cemetery include President Nicolas Avellaneda, Admiral William Brown (considered to be the father of the Argentine Navy), and the novelist Eduardo Mallea.