La Recoleta Cemetery

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — La Recoleta Cemetery’s most famous resident is Eva Peron. But her plain burial site might just be the least ostentatious in the whole cemetery.

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica in Buenos Aires Agentina

In terms of luxury accommodations for the dearly departed, Recoleta’s cemetery ranks pretty highly. You would never call it plain. It’s not a field with rows of rectangular marble headstones. Instead, it has hundreds of ornate crypts crowding over each other for attention. It’s not every cemetery that has streets and avenues. Most of the crypts are above ground, but some have small stairwells leading to underground basements.

A few of the tombs are old and unkempt, well on the way to looking like an abandoned pile of rocks. But most of the tombs are much more lavish and could easily qualify as mini-temples. Gleaming glass and marble enclosures. Ornate wrought-iron gates open to small stairwells leading underground. Marble statues of angels and saints guard the entrances.

Recoleta sits on top of a hill in Buenos Aires next to Our Lady of Pilar Basilica on ground that was once the church’s orchard. It gets its name from the neighborhood, traditionally a wealthy one.

La Recoleta Cemetery’s most famous resident is Eva Peron, best known in the west as Evita. Her home since 1952 has been a small panel on a family crypt. Befitting her popular appeal, it just might be the least ostentatious place of rest in the whole of La Recoleta cemetery.

Photos of La Recoleta Cemetery

Eva Peron Gravesite at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Eva Peron Gravesite at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Eva Peron Gravesite at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

Map

Junín 1760, C1113 CABA, Argentina

More About Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery, located in the eponymous district of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a significant historic site known for its ornate mausoleums and as the final resting place of many notable Argentines, including former First Lady Eva Perón.

The cemetery was established in the early 18th century by the Order of the Recoletos, from which it derives its name. Initially, it served as a public cemetery, but it was later designated for the interment of the city’s elite, which is reflected in the grandeur of its funerary monuments.

The cemetery spans over 14 acres and contains 4691 vaults, all above ground, many of which have been declared National Historical Monuments by the Argentine government. These vaults showcase a range of architectural styles, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Baroque, and Neo-Gothic.

One of the most visited graves in Recoleta Cemetery is that of Eva Perón, also known as Evita. Her tomb, located in the Duarte family’s mausoleum, draws numerous visitors due to her enduring legacy in Argentine politics and culture.

Recoleta Cemetery is not merely a graveyard but an open-air museum, a testament to the city’s architectural and cultural history. Its winding paths are lined with marble statues, tall Greek columns, intricately carved scrollwork, and imposing mausoleums that tell the story of Buenos Aires’ past.

The cemetery’s location in the upscale Recoleta district of Buenos Aires ensures easy accessibility for visitors. It is in close proximity to other notable sites, including the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar and the Recoleta Cultural Centre, making it an integral part of any city tour.

Providing a serene yet poignant exploration of Argentina’s history and the legacies of its people, Recoleta Cemetery is an important cultural landmark in Buenos Aires.

David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »