July 4, 2021 ·

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

Recoleta Cementerio de Buenos Aires

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cemetery entrance

Cementerio de la Recoleta

Table of contents:

  1. History
  2. Videos
  3. Photos
  4. Famous and notable people
  5. Location and Maps of the tombs
  6. Eva Peron tomb
  7. 10 Most important tombs

Recoleta Cemetery (Cementerio de la Recoleta) is often listed as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. After spending an afternoon wandering through the cobblestone streets lined with tombs I would have to agree. Recoleta Cemetery is located in the prestigious neighborhood of Recoleta, in the city of Buenos Aires. In the early eighteenth century Monks of The Order of the Recoletos arrived in this area. The cemetery originally started as their holy grounds, however when the Order disbanded in 1822, the convent gardens were converted into Buenos Aires´s first public cemetery. Buried here is a who’s who of notable Argentinians from politicians (including 26 Argentine presidents) to Nobel Prize winners, and of course Argentina’s beloved Eva Peron.

Evita Eva Peron Tomb in Recoleta Cemetery


The cemetery has over 6,400 mausoleums and is a crash course of architectural style through the ages. Beautiful examples of Neoclassical, Neo Gothic, Art Nuevo and Art Deco can all be found here. With marble statues and decorative iron gates this city of the dead is full of breathtaking art. Some of the mausoleums are relatively new, modern even, while others show their age in dust and disrepair. Peeking inside the crypts was an unusual experience. You are faced with dusty, wooden coffins, carved marble coffins, shrines to the dead, relics, photos and flowers. All are evidence and a life, clues to who is buried there and who was left behind. I felt as if I were inside history when I stepped inside Recoleta Cemetery.



Recoleta Cemetery Map Mapa Of course no cemetery would be complete without a ghost story or two and Recoleta Cemetery is no exception. There are many stories of hauntings and curious happenings here. One of tales that resonated with me the most was the tragic story of 19-year-old Rufina Cambecéres, who was a socialite and the only daughter of a famous Argentine writer, died suddenly in 1902. It was raining on the day her casket arrived at Recoleta so it was left in the Chapel overnight. Legend has it that a cemetery worker noticed the casket lid had been shifted, and since Rufina was from a wealthy family, they thought someone might be after her valuables and have robbed the grave. However, when her casket was opened and closely examined, the truth was much worse. None of her jewelry was missing but instead, they found scratch marks on her and all over the inside of the casket: she had been mistakenly presumed dead and was buried alive! Later thought that she had collapsed from an attack of cataplexy, which caused several doctors to believe that she was dead. When she woke up and found herself sealed in a casket, the fright, the terror and the failed attempt of escape eventually gave her a heart attack which became the real cause of her unfortunate death. 

To this day, no one knows for sure if that was really what truly happened but it is no doubt one of the most known urban legends of Recoleta Cemetery. The tomb of Rufina is is not easy to miss because it is one of the most beautiful ones in the “City of the Dead”. You will be greeted by a life-sized statue of her guarding her resting place. When peer in, you will see her beautifully-carved marble coffin inside.


Also Read: Famous Buenos Aires Ghost Story

statues-recoleta-cemetery


The cemetery is open every day from 8 am – 6 pm, free entry. Maps are available for purchase, though not necessary, I would recommend grabbing one if you want to find someone in particular. There are also free tours available.  You will learn many stories like Rufina’s from the hour-long guided tour: Spanish tours – Tuesday to Friday at 11am; weekends and public holidays at 11am and 3pm. English tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am. Whenever you go, also keep your eyes on the lookout for the cutest and fluffiest “residents” of Recoleta Cemetery — the many cemetery cats.3


Recoleta Cemetery Photos

Entrance to the cemetery.

View of the domes.

Tomb of President Bartolomé Mitre.

Tomb of President Carlos Pellegrini.

Tomb of President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.

Monument to physician, politician, and writer Eduardo Wilde.

Tomb of First Lady Eva Perón.

Tomb of caudillo Facundo Quiroga.

Tomb of French-born Coronel Federico de Brandsen.

Tomb of medical doctor and politician of U.S. descent Guillermo Rawson.

Tomb of President José María Guido.

Tomb of political theorist and diplomat Juan Bautista Alberdi.

Tomb of General and Governor Juan Lavalle.

Tomb of President Julio Argentino Roca.

Tomb of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak.

Tomb of professional boxer Luis Ángel Firpo, the first Latin American to challenge for the world heavyweight champion title.

Tomb of Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate Luis Federico Leloir.

Tomb of General Luis María Campos, designed by French sculptor Jules Coutan.

Tomb of patriot Mariquita Sánchez de Thompson.

Tomb of General Miguel Estanislao Soler.

Tomb of President Nicolás Avellaneda, devised by the aforementioned French sculptor Jules Coutan.

Memorial to statesman, diplomat, and journalist José Clemente Paz, created by the aforesaid French sculptor Jules Coutan.

Tomb of President Raúl Alfonsín, taken after a state funeral.

Tomb of President Roque Sáenz Peña.

Tomb of Irish-born Admiral and founder of the Argentine Navy William Brown.

Boy Angel Statue La Recoleta Cemetery 9-7-2011 Buenos Aires Argentina

Notable and Famous People Buried in La Recoleta Cemetery (Wikipedia)

Birth Death Personality Notes Ref(s)
1914 1999 Adolfo Bioy Casares 1968.png Adolfo Bioy Casares Fiction writer, journalist, translator, and Miguel de Cervantes Prize recipient. [18][19]
1876 1943 Apjusto.jpg Agustín Pedro Justo President of Argentina. [20]
1921 2012 Amalita1939.jpg Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Businesswoman and philanthropist. [21]
1805 1871 Anthony Dominic Fahy 02.jpg Anthony Dominic Fahy Catholic priest, missionary and head of the Irish community in Argentina (1844–1871) [18]
1914 1981 Armando Bó by Annemarie Heinrich.jpg Armando Bó Actor, film director, and screenwriter. [18]
1900 1983 Illia banda presidencial.jpg Arturo Umberto Illia President of Argentina. [20][22][23]
1821 1906 BartolomeMitre.jpg Bartolomé Mitre President of Argentina. [20][24][25]
1840 1902 Candido lopez selfportrait 1858.jpg Cándido López Soldier, painter, and student of Italian artist Baldassare Verazzi. [26]
1827 1918 Carlos Guido Spano.jpg Carlos Guido y Spano Poet. [27]
1789 1852 CarlosAlvearcolor.jpg Carlos María de Alvear Soldier, statesman, and Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. [28]
1846 1906 Retrato de Carlos Pellegrini.jpg Carlos Pellegrini President of Argentina. [20][29]
1878 1959 Carlos Saavedra Lamas.jpg Carlos Saavedra Lamas Academic, politician, and the first Latin American Nobel Peace Prize recipient. [18]
1759 1829 Cornelio Saavedra - 1810.jpg Cornelio Saavedra President of the First Assembly and military officer. [30][31]
1758 1820 Cosme Argerich.jpg Cosme Argerich Military physician. [32]
1800 1875 Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield.JPG Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield Lawyer, politician, and writer of the Civil Code of Argentina. [31]
1811 1888 Sarmiento (1873).jpg Domingo Faustino Sarmiento President of Argentina. [20][27][33]
1896 1956 GralEduardoLonardi.jpg Eduardo Lonardi President of Argentina. [34]
1903 1982 EduardoMallea.jpg Eduardo Mallea Essayist, cultural critic, writer, and diplomat. [35]
1844 1913 Eduardo Wilde.JPG Eduardo Wilde Physician, politician, and writer. [36]
1875 1951 Elpidio González.JPG Elpidio González Politician and Vice President of Argentina. [37]
1919 1952 Evita color.jpg Eva Perón First Lady of Argentina and founder of the Eva Perón Foundation. [18][33][38]
1788 1835 Facundo Quiroga por Fermepin.JPG Facundo Quiroga Caudillo and subject of the book FacundoDomingo Faustino Sarmiento‘s most prominent work. [39][40][41]
1785 1827 Federico de Brandsen painted by Jean-Philippe Goulu.jpg Federico de Brandsen French-born Colonel. [42]
1835 1899 FedericoLacroze.jpg Federico Lacroze Businessman and railway entrepreneur. [43]
1795 1871 Francisco Javier Muñiz.jpg Francisco Javier Muñiz Argentine physician, naturalist and politician [18]
1821 1890 Guillermo Rawson.png Guillermo Rawson Physician and politician of American descent. [44]
1852 1933 Foto yrigoyen - presidente -presidenciagovar.jpg Hipólito Yrigoyen President of Argentina. [20][22][23]
1847 1847 Isabelle Colonna-Walewski Daughter of Count Alexandre Colonna-Walewski and grandchild of Napoleon. [45][46]
1842 1912 José Clemente Paz.jpg José Clemente Paz Statesman, diplomat, and journalist. [17][47]
1860 1931 Alcorta.jpg José Figueroa Alcorta President of Argentina. [20]
1834 1886 José Hernández.jpg José Hernández Journalist, politician, poet, and creator of Argentina’s national epic, the Martín Fierro. [18][48]
1910 1975 José María Guido.JPG José María Guido President of Argentina. [20]
1758 1833 Juanjpaso.jpg Juan José Paso Politician and member of the First Assembly, the First Triumvirate, and the Second Triumvirate. [49]
1797 1841 Lavalle.jpg Juan Lavalle General and Governor of Buenos Aires Province. [40][50]
1793 1877 Juan Manuel de Rosas.jpg Juan Manuel de Rosas Brigadier and Governor of Buenos Aires Province. Initially buried at Southampton Old Cemetery in the United Kingdom, repatriated in 1989. [24][33][51]
1843 1914 Julio A Roca.jpg Julio Argentino Roca President of Argentina. [20][52]
1841 1896 Leandro N. Alem.jpg Leandro Nicéforo Alem Politician. [22][23][37]
1874 1938 LeopoldoLugones01.jpg Leopoldo Lugones Writer and journalist. [19]
1831 1913 Lucio Victorio Mansilla 3.jpg Lucio Victorio Mansilla General, writer, journalist, politician, and diplomat. [27]
1894 1960 Luis Ángel Firpo.jpg Luis Ángel Firpo Professional boxer and the first Latin American to challenge for the world heavyweight champion title. [18][48]
1906 1987 Luis Federico Leloir - young.jpg Luis Federico Leloir Biochemist, physician, and the first Spanish-speaking Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate. [18][40][53]
1838 1907 Luis Maria Campos.jpg Luis María Campos General and founder of the Escuela Superior de Guerra (Superior School of War). [47][54]
1822 1907 Luis Sáenz Peña painting.jpg Luis Sáenz Peña President of Argentina. [20]
1791 1871 Vernet Luis Portrait.jpg Luis Vernet German-born merchant of Huguenot descent and the first Argentine appointed as Governor of Puerto Luis (nowadays the Falkland Islands). [55]
1787 1828 Dorrego a color.jpg Manuel Dorrego Military officer and Governor of Buenos Aires Province. Mausoleum designed by Carlo Zucchi. [40]
1835 1906 Foto quintana.jpg Manuel Quintana President of Argentina. [20]
1868 1942 Marcelo T de Alvear.JPG Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear President of Argentina. [20]
1887 1970 Mariette Lydis (1936).jpg Mariette Lydis Austrian-born painter and illustrator. [35]
1786 1868 María Sánchez de Thompson.jpg Mariquita Sánchez de Thompson Patriot. [33][56]
1922 1991 Martín Karadagián.JPG Martín Karadagian Actor, professional wrestler, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame inductee. [18]
1851 1905 Miguel Cané (1892).jpg Miguel Cané Writer, lawyer, academic, journalist, and politician. [48]
1754 1833 Miguel-Azcuénaga new.png Miguel de Azcuénaga General, politician, and member of the First Assembly. [57]
1783 1849 M E Soler por Bettinoti.jpg Miguel Estanislao Soler General and politician. [58]
1837 1885 Nicolás Avellaneda 2.jpg Nicolás Avellaneda President of Argentina. [20][24]
1891 1967 Oliverio girondo.jpg Oliverio Girondo Poet. [18][19][59]
1859 1936 Pablo Ricchieri.jpg Pablo Ricchieri Military officer and Minister of War. [60]
1848 1929 PaulGroussac.JPG Paul Groussac French-born writer, literary critic, historian, and librarian. [18]
1903 1970 Aramburu2.jpg Pedro Eugenio Aramburu President of Argentina. [61]
1927 2009 Argentina.RaulAlfonsin.01.jpg Raúl Alfonsín President of Argentina. [20][22][23]
1926 2016 María Barreneche.jpg María Lorenza Barreneche First Lady of Argentina. Widow of Raúl Alfonsín. [62][63]
1797 1823 Remedios de Escalada.jpg Remedios de Escalada Wife of libertador José de San Martín. [33]
1851 1914 Roque S Peña.jpg Roque Sáenz Peña President of Argentina. [20]
1903 1993 Silvina Ocampo Poet, translator, and writer. [18]
1802 1869 Valentín Alsina.jpg Valentín Alsina Governor of Buenos Aires Province. [31]
1785 1856 Vicente Lopez 1860.jpg Vicente López y Planes Poet, politician, and creator of the lyrics of the Argentine National Anthem. [64]
1890 1979 Victoria Ocampo y Sur.jpg Victoria Ocampo Writer, intellectual, and the first woman admitted to the Argentine Academy of Letters. [18][48]
1840 1919 Victorino de la Plaza.JPG Victorino de la Plaza President of Argentina. [20]
1777 1857 Guillermo Brown, por Henry Herve.jpg William Brown Irish-born Admiral and founder of the Argentine Navy. [65][66]
1856 1902 Zenón Rolón.jpg Zenón Rolón Musician and composer. [67]
1920 1999 Zully moreno.jpg Zully Moreno Actress. [18]

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