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Cementerio de la Chacarita, Buenos Aires

Sunday I went to Cementerio de la Chacarita. Walks had taken me past the large pink entrance several times, and though I had expressed my desire to see the cemetery on several occasions, I hadn't known that the monolithic structure was actually the way in. A friend had speculated that it was a university, an idea I had no reason to refute.

Two subway stops away from where I live, the cemetery is enormous. I had allotted myself 2 hours to have a look and that wasn't nearly enough time to get a good idea of what there is to see.

This is two photos melded together to show the inside of a mausoleum. Without a doubt, this is the most beautiful cemetery I have seen in my life. The outsides of the mausoleums are incredible. The insides range from well kept to complete disrepair. If you look inside and down, you can see a grate (in some cases) that covers a hole in the floor. In many of the tombs, there is no grate. Lots of the tombs have visible stairs aside from the hole on the floor that lead to the lower story. If you look carefully, you can often see more coffins beneath.

The yellow area in this map is the cemetery.

Live ferns inside this well attended tomb.

In shambles, I was captivated by the inside of this mausoleum that houses the remains of many cremated individuals.

I did a poor job of stitching these photos together. Another mausoleum in disrepair.

This gives you an idea of the quiet and orderly feel of this area.

A very well kept mausoleum

Corner with domed crypts

Painting inside of a tomb

Angels and Sky

Captivating Exterior with the neighbors across the way reflected

Reminds me very much of Munch

Lane in the middle of a block

This was taken in an area along the border of the cemetery. I spend a lot of time over here, where many of this wall of tombs had been vandalized. Several of the crypts had been broken open. More than half the wall is vacant. Pigeons make use of the open areas.

I had to wonder if this was a human bone. No marble closure on this tomb, just a water worn board to hide its contents.

A broken tomb - the coffin inside is visible in the shadows.

I was struck by the way the rosary still hangs from the broken marble here.

Tomb 270

Out of focus in the background, you can see a mausoleum wall that is in much better shape than the ones before.

A broken mirror near the groundskeepers area reflects the half empty wall of tombs.

I might have taken more photos, but I felt odd snapping photos in view of people who were there to visit the graves of dead loved ones. I felt as if I were stealing somehow, or exploiting the dead. I think I'll go back though. Maybe it won't be so busy on a weekday.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 21st, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Thanks. I was getting weird and peering into every one I could see into. There's a hell of a lot of variety, too.

Never seen a wong kar-wai movie. I guess that's something else to add to the list.

The original plan was to stay a year (that would have me leaving in August) but I'm thinking of not going back - so we'll see.

Oct. 21st, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
These are marvelous.
Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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