A street of the Dead, Recoleta, Buenos Aires 1917

A street of the Dead, Recoleta, Buenos Aires 1917

A street of the Dead, Recoleta, Buenos Aires 1917

RECOLETA is the name generally applied to the Cementerio del Norte (Northern Cemetery) and is the favorite burial place of the Porteño (Buenos Aires) aristocracy. In Argentina and most South American countries, the wealthy dead are interred in vaults; those of the poorer families are buried in the ground with a stone slab over their grave, and with a cross to mark the headpiece; the very poorest are placed in niches in the cemetery walls, one on top of another like the catacombs.

THIS is a typical street in the Recoleta.
The individual tombs are often costly elaborations, many of which are of marble, the figures being sculptured by artisans of Genoa or of Rosario. To the writer, Recoleta seems a most gruesome place, especially at midday when it is nearly empty of visitors, and the summer sun beats with its blinding glare upon the houses of the dead. This lugubrious effect is still more enhanced by the presence of black cats, which, like evil spirits, dart among the tombstones. (from Henry Stephens, Illustrated descriptive Argentina, 1917)

 

 

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