Buenos Aires

Avellaneda Family - Cemetery of Recoleta - Buenos Aires

Avellaneda Family – Cemetery of Recoleta – Buenos Aires

Once the garden of the adjoining church, the cemetery was created in 1822 and is among the oldest in the city. You can spend hours here wandering the grounds that cover 4 city blocks, full of tombs adorned with works by local and international sculptors. More than 6,400 mausoleums form an architectural free-for-all, including Greek temples and pyramids. The most popular site is the tomb of Eva “Evita” Perón, which is always heaped with flowers and letters from adoring fans. To prevent her body from being stolen, as it had been many times by the various military governments installed after her husband’s fall from grace in 1955, she was finally buried in a concrete vault 8.1m (27 ft.) underground in 1976. Many other rich or famous Argentines are buried here as well, including a number of Argentine presidents whose tomb names you’ll recognize because they match some of the streets of the city.


Most tourists who come here visit only Evita’s tomb and leave, but among the many, two are worth singling out and should not be missed while exploring here. One is the tomb of the Paz family, who owned the newspaperLa Prensa,as well as the palatial building on Plaza San Martín now known as the Círculo Militar. It is an enormous black stone structure covered with numerous white marble angels in turn-of-the-20th-century dress. The angels seem almost to soar to the heavens, lifting up the spirit of those inside with their massive wings. The sculptures were all made in Paris and shipped here. Masonic symbols such as anchors and pyramid-like shapes adorn this as well as many other Recoleta tombs.


Recoleta Cemetery - Buenos Aires

Recoleta Cemetery – Buenos Aires

Another tomb I recommend seeing while here is that of Rufina Cambaceres, a young woman who was buried alive in the early 1900s. She had perhaps suffered a coma, and a few days after her interment, workers heard screams from the tomb. Once opened, there were scratches on her face and on the coffin from trying to escape. Her mother then built this Art Nouveau masterpiece, which has become a symbol of the cemetery. Her coffin is a Carrara marble slab, carved with a rose on top, and it sits behind a glass wall, as if her mother wanted to make up for her mistake in burying her and make sure to see her coffin if she were ever to come back again. Adorned by a young girl carved of marble who turns her head to those watching her, she looks as if she is about to break into tears, and her right hand is on the door of her own tomb.


Recoleta’s Living Residents— The dead are not the only residents in Recoleta Cemetery. About 75 cats also roam among the tombs. The cats are plumper than most strays because a dedicated group of women from the area comes to feed and provide them with medical attention at 10am and 4pm. Normally, the cats hide away from visitors, but at these times, they gather in anticipation at the women’s entrance. This is a good time to bring children who might otherwise be bored in the cemetery. The women, who pay for their own services, welcome donations of cat food.
Source: Frommers –Frommers Buenos Aires Recoleta

Read about our Recoleta Cemetery Tour

Buenos Aires contains a number of museums, galleries, and exhibition halls.

Museums: MALBA: Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415 (Palermo) A well-known museum of Latin American art. Thu. to Mon. 12-8 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.  Contact: 4808-6500 / Fax: 4808-6598

Malba Museum of Latin American Art

Malba Museum of Latin American Art

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes: Av. del Libertador 1473 (Palermo) The biggest museum in Buenos Aires. Argentine and international paintings and sculptures are found in this often quiet museum. Tue. to Fri. 12.30-7.30 pm. – Sat. Sun & holidays 9.30am-7.30pm.  Contact: 4803-0802 / Fax: 4803-8817

Casa Museo Carlos Gardel: Jean Jaures 735 (Abasto) The house of the most famous tango singer that ever lived. Carlos Gardel occupied the house with his mother, from 1927 until his death in 1935. Opens: Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri. from 1.00pm to 5.00pm. Contact: 4964-2015

Museo Xul Solar: This is a good small museum constructed in the old house of the painter by the same name. Xul Solar used colorful themes and esoterism along with a variety of weird objects. Laprida 1212. Phone: 4824-3302 Tuesday-Fridays 12-20hs.Fridays 12-19hs.

Museo de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia: Av. Angel Gallardo 470 (Parque Centenario) There you’ll find a huge collection of the natural resourses of Argentina and the Antartic. Mon. to Sat. 2-7 pm. Contact: 4982-5243/5550

Museo de Motivos Argentinos José Hernandez: Av. del Libertador 2373 (Palermo) Full of gauchos artifacts, the history of mate, information about important Argentines from colonial times, and the history of the aborigenies. Wed. to Fri. 1-7 pm. Sat. and Sun. 3-7 pm. Contact: 4802-7294