…your final resting place in Argentina might be the Recoleta Cemetery, dating back almost 400 years. Since the Cemetery is near the top of the list for places to see when visiting Buenos Aires, you would have lots of visitors after you’re gone.
A trip to the Cemetery provided inspiration to photograph in black and white. We rarely do that, but somehow black and white seemed fitting.
As we wandered down lanes, there didn’t seem to be any standard “design” for the vaults. Some were lavishly decorated, others were simple, and a significant number were in a state of advanced decay. All were unique.
We suppose that some of these vaults are so old now that there are few family members close by or with sufficient means to maintain them. We read somewhere that repairs could run up to $50,000 US for those in the worst condition.
We couldn’t help but wonder about the people who now occupied each grave site. Presidents of Argentina, Nobel Laureates, and ordinary citizens are buried at Recoleta. We did know enough Argentinian history to visit the monument-vault for Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, President of Argentina from 1868-1874.
Too many people have died in war. Maybe rather than military guards standing vigil in front of the vault, a symbol of peace should be invoked.
We had never heard of the Paraguayan War, so we looked it up. The war, fought between 1864-1870, pitted Paraguay against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. When the war seemed over, Paraguay continued a guerrilla war until Brazilian forces killed its president. In the end, 70% of the men in Paraguay died as a result. The cause of the war was due to unsettled land issues from colonial times in a climate of expanding military capacities of these competing nations.
Recoleta Cemetery is considered one of the most interesting cemeteries in the world. There are three centuries of history and art within the walls – and a lot of sad and inspiring stories.