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Monday, October 7, 2013

Ghost Town


At first glance you might surmise this to be the remains of an old abandoned Tuscan villa. Majestic and antique, it looks like a house I would like to own. But then again, maybe not: this small scale version of an Italian-style villa was erected for the "soul" purpose of housing the remains of those who have passed on.

Happy Halloween.

Its just one of hundreds of mausoleums situated in Buenos Aires' La Recoleta Cemetery. Recoleta Cemetery, which has been around since the 1700's, is purported to be one of the most beautiful and architecturally exciting above-ground cemeteries in the world. It is the resting place for a plethora of the once wealthy city's most elite Argentinian families. It's infamous residents range from that of former presidents, dictators and statesmen to renowned actors and writers, and even a grand-daughter of Bonaparte.
                                              

Evita slept here.
Eva Duarte remains one of it's most infamous inhabitants, and though the Duarte family tomb is aesthetically less pleasing than some others that span the cemetery's 14 acres, it is an important destination point nonetheless.

If you are as big a fan of old cemeteries, as I am, you can only imagine my bitter disappointment during a 1980's trip to Paris: a chance to visit the city's famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery was unintentionally thwarted.  The most visited cemetery in the world, it includes the graves of the most illustrious figures in the Parisian art, literary and music world. The likes of Chopin, Moliere, Modigliani and Colette have found their final resting place here...not to mention Jim Morrison.

Visits to the cemetery in Recoleta have given me plenty of solace since that missed opportunity in Paris so long ago.  Like Pere Lachaise, it reads as a miniature version of it's own city; showcasing Buenos Aires' various architectural styles and former opulence.
 
                                      
                               
Clearly, at one point, money was no object; Byzantine, Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic themed monuments are but a few of the many architectural styles represented here. 

City of sighs against a bustling Buenos Aires skyline.












Eternal companions in the form of weeping ladies and guardian angels offer peace to the living and the dead.

Now this is frightening...it looks like no one has been
in to dust for awhile!



*Edited by Jennifer Vandemeer.
** All images snapped by yours truly.