La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

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We were living in the La Recoleta neighbourhood  of Buenos Aires, and that may explain why the first place we got to visit was the La Recoleta Cemetery. It contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perón, presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, famous people, and (I was told) 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.

Set in 5.5 hectares (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. The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums.

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