Main Street, RecoletaAt the edge of Buenos Aires´most affluent neighbourhood, just beyond the Gucci and Armani shops, there´s an exclusive gated community full of Argentina´s rich and famous. Cemetaria de Recoleta is literally “uno Ciudad de los Muertos”, a city of the dead where each porch-like masoleum contains the coffins of multiple generations of well-to-do families, clearly visible through their glass panelled windows and doors. The only living residents of this place are a group of feral cats who have made Recoleta their home, often choosing the dark, dilapadated masoleums to eat, play and sleep in. In some of these crypts, the windows have no glass and the door lie ajar, you could literally touch one of the gothic, dusty caskets if the thought hijacked your mind. Even when visited on a bright, sunny day, Recoleta is a foreboding and creepy place.


Coffin Racks Antique Casket

Coffins... coffins... coffins.

Residents of Recoleta include many past (and passed) presidents, doctors, scientists, explorers and other people of distinction including perhaps the most famous Argentinain of all, Eva Peron. Shortly after her death, Evita’s embalmed body was displayed in her former office in Buenos Aires while a more fitting monument was being constructed, but before the monument was finished, Juan Peron, her husband and ruler of Argentina at the time, was overthrown in a military coup and a dictatorship took power, outlawing Peronism and removing her body from display in the process. Evitas wherabouts wre unknown for 16 years until it was revealed that she had been buried in Milan under a different identity. In 1971, her body was exumed and flown to Spain, where her exiled husband maintained it in his home for two years before coming out of exile and returning to Argentina where he became president again.  After Peron died a year later, his wife at the time arranged for Evita’s body to be interred with Juans, but she was later moved to her own family tomb where she remains.  Extensive measures were taken by the government to secure Evita’s tomb. There is a trapdoor in the marble floor which leads to a compartment containing the remains of other members of her family. Under the first compartment is a second trapdoor and a second compartment where Evita’s coffin rests.

Evita's Tomb DSC_0182

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