The cemetery of Recoleta is one of the main tourist attractions of Buenos Aires, and one of the places you will not want to miss.
It is located in the very center of the city, in the neighborhood of “Recoleta”, known as one of the most elegant areas of the city.
The Cemetery was originally the garden area of a monastery, until the city confiscated the land and opened the cemetery in 1882. Since then, the Recoleta cemetery has always been the place where the reach families of Buenos Aires have their mausoleums.
There is a huge diversity in the architecture of the mausoleums. The cemetery includes tombs made with simple stones and great mausoleums including iron work, marmol scolptures, fancy glasses and beautiful art pieces. Some of them are in great condition and some of them are badly run down, but all of them have a story to tell.
Each mausoleum belongs to a family and not to a single person, and some of them hold the coffins of dozens of people. Unlike the cemetery of New Orleans, also built above land, there is no problem with the water here and all the tombs have up to three levels under ground. From the door of each mausoleum you can see the stair going down, or a trap door to send the coffins down below.
There are five thousand mausoleums in the cemetery and it is not easy to visit the place on your own if you want to find the path to the most interesting ones. There are no signs or directions. The most famous person in the cemetery, Eva Perón, is so hidden that if you do not know the place the only way to find her is following the tour guides that you will find working with other people.
That said, the place is like a labyrinth, and it is also nice to get lost walking in the narrow streets wondering who is that person that spent a fortune building his tomb, or what is the story behind the statue of that young girl wearing her wedding dress.
The cemetery opens every day early in the morning and closes at 6 pm. The entrance is free and taking pictures is allowed with no restriction. For obvious reasons, discrete behaviour is recommended while in the place.