My first time… at a Cemetery as a Tourist!

Coming from a traditional Chinese family, going to a cemetery AND taking photos would definitely be deemed a faux pas! BIG no no!

Cemeteries are deemed a scary place, thanks to hundreds of horror movies. They are portrayed as run down, haunted and solemn. On the contrary, I have seen some ‘modern’ cemeteries that are laid out like a public park with lots of trees, shrubs and grass. The ones in Hong Kong typically offers epic views as Feng Shui says it is best to be “backed by a mountain, face open waters”. None of the scary stuff.

Then there is the famous Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dating back to 1822. The layout of the cemetery was done by the French civil engineer Próspero Catelin. This place is like no other!

For a person who loves all things architecture and beautiful designs, I could definitely spend hours admiring the vast variety of architectural styles used to design the tombs. Many of the mausoleums are clad in gorgeous marbles and granites. Some of them have beautiful art deco style iron gates, doors and archways. I also felt a sense of peace there.

In addition to the construction aspects, many famous people call this their final resting place. One can find past presidents, actors/actresses, athletes, philanthropists, writers, soldiers, scientists, Nobel Prize laureates and not all of them were citizens of Argentina.

One of the most famous person resting in the cemetery would be Eva Perón – their beloved First Lady. When I arrived at the entrance, her tomb was on the top of everyone’s list. Just follow the mob, and you will find her tomb.

Duarte family mausoleum Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Duarte family mausoleum where Eve Peron rests in the Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Streets of mausoleums Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Streets of mausoleums Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Stained glass of St George and the dragon in Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Stained glass of St George and the dragon in Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Simple tomb stone Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Simple tomb stone Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Neglected mausoleum at Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Neglected mausoleum at Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Monument style tomb Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Monument style tomb Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

High rise style mausoleums Recoleta cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

High rise style mausoleums Recoleta cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Elaborate marble mausoleums Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Elaborate marble mausoleums Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Contents of a tomb at Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Contents of a tomb at Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires Argentina

Beautiful mosaics decorate the tomb of Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate Luis Federico Leloir

Beautiful mosaics decorate the tomb of Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate Luis Federico Leloir

3 thoughts on “My first time… at a Cemetery as a Tourist!

  1. Pretty impresseive graves (is it allowed to say out loud that I do wish people invest in living people as well…)! Out of curiousity (and ignorance): how do Chinese treat their graveyards? Maybe there is variation within such a vast country?

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    • I agree with your comment. I wonder if that is potentially one of the reason why some tombs have not been maintained, as the living people are taking care of themselves and forgotten their ancestors. It could be a difficult balance to maintain when money is tight.

      As for Chinese graveyards, I can only comment on the ones I have seen in Hong Kong. As I have not visited any when in China. The cemetery where my paternal grandfather used to rest at was up a mountain. Imagine stadium seating with tombstones where the seats would have been – a whole portion of the mountain clad in concrete steppes and vertical granite or marble tombstones marking the graves. Nowadays, as land is at a premium in Hong Kong, most can only afford a niche in a columbarium. That’s where my father’s ashes are stored.

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