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    South by South America Tour – Argentina Part 5

    Saturday, August 3, 2019
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Two crypts at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Two crypts at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The weathered doorway of a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    The weathered doorway of a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    A statue of a woman with a puppy at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A statue of a woman with a puppy at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Today, I bought a subway card, descended underground and passed through the bowels of the city over to the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where I set my inner goth free to wander. “The Cementerio de la Recoleta is a cemetery located in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perón, presidents of Argentina, Nobel prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy, and a granddaughter of Napoleon. In 2011, the BBC hailed it as one of the world’s best cemeteries, and in 2013, CNN listed it among the 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the world.

    A crypt and a light pole at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A crypt and a light pole at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    A door ajar on a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A door ajar on a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    “Set in 14 acres, the site contains 4691 vaults, all above ground, of which 94 have been declared national historical monuments by the Argentine government and are protected by the state. The entrance to the cemetery is through neo-classical gates with tall Doric columns. The cemetery contains many elaborate marble mausoleums, decorated with statues, in a wide variety of architectural styles such as art deco, art nouveau, baroque, and neo-gothic, and most materials used between 1880 and 1930 in the construction of tombs were imported from Paris and Milan.

    Pole position at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Pole position at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Two coffins inside a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Two coffins inside a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    “The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums. These mausoleums are still being used by rich families in Argentina who have their own vaults and keep their deceased there. While many of the mausoleums are in fine shape and well-maintained, others have fallen into disrepair. Several can be found with broken glass and littered with rubbish.”—Wikipedia

    A crypt and a light pole, take two, at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A crypt and a light pole, take two, at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Looking down one of many lanes at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Looking down one of many lanes at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Arriving after 3:00 pm, I really enjoyed walking around inside the cemetery for a couple of hours. The setting sun lit the crypts and statues aglow with beautiful golden light, which was wonderful to behold. Although the main “streets” were quite packed with visitors, the side lanes were considerably less so. At 5:30 pm, an old guy started ringing a bell, which was the cue for closing time as everyone got herded out like cattle.

    A death's head on the door of a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A death’s head on the door of a crypt at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Sunset at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Sunset at the Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    After chomping on a couple of snacks at a weekend market in a nearby park, I walked a block over to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, where I spent 90 minutes or so quickly strolling through the place, soaking up all of the art before closing time at 8:30 pm. The collection ranges from old masters from the Renaissance (including Rembrandt!) to impressionism (Degas! Monet!) and post-impressionism (Van Gogh!), cubism (Picasso!), and on into all of the other “isms” of 20th century modern art, as well as Argentine versions of the same. Consisting of mostly paintings and some sculptures, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes really is quite an impressive museum, and admission is free!

    Lamentacion (1927) by Fritz Burmann at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Lamentacion (1927) by Fritz Burmann at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Pieces by Louise Nevelson and Franz Kline at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Pieces by Louise Nevelson and Franz Kline at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Words and photos ©2019 Arcane Candy.

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