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Monday, May 21, 2012

Recoleta: An Amazing Saturday

View of the Mausoleums
by Lisa Goodman


Last Saturday we went to Recoleta, truly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Buenos Aires. It is a great place to go on the weekend. You can go time and time again and still have an amazing experience.

Our first stop was the Recoleta cemetery. It is such a spectacular sight to see! It is hauntingly stunning. The cemetery is very large, filled with mausoleums of affluent families in Buenos Aires. Each family has its own mausoleum and each is distinct from the other. Some are old and crumbling, while others have more of a modern touch. The architecture of these mausoleums is extremely intricate. The majority of them were covered with different types of sculptures (usually angels) and statues (usually the most prominent member of the family).


Stunning Interior
Not only were the outsides of these structures remarkable, but also the interiors were incredible. My favorite was an interior that consisted of three distinct parts: a stained glass window, a wooden cross, and a marble structure of the deceased. The window was at the top of the mausoleum and the design was made with different shades of blue glass. It looked as if the white walls were glowing with a blue aura. The cross was simple, with clean lines, and was made out of a dark wood, which made an amazing contrast. The part that awed me the most was the sculpture of the deceased, a woman, who was lying down. The detail is truly a sight to see, she looks like she is sleeping, bathed in blue light from the window above.


You can also see the burial place of Eva (Evita) Perón. She was the wife of the Argentinean dictator Juan Perón, and served as the First Lady of Argentina until her death in 1952. She is a legend here in Argentina, and is remembered fondly for her kindness, beauty and charm. Her burial place was covered in flowers when I went to the cemetery. I have been told that there are always flowers there because she is admired and respected even to this day.
Evita's Burial Place
We also walked around the cemetery, where there is a large plaza that has a feria (an open air market) every weekend. The market is small, but has many nice products, not to mention yummy food. While walking around, I encountered a huge tree, which the GSE Director, Alfredo, told me is just over 200 years old. The size of the tree is indescribable; some of its branches are so heavy that they have to be upheld by wooden supports.

200 Year Old Tree

At the end, we entered a Catholic church that is adjacent to the cemetery. I highly recommend visiting the church because the interior is beautiful. When you enter the church, you will be struck by the beauty of the sculptures that are on many of the walls. The colors are rich, and each sculpture is dedicated to a different religious figure.

Church Architecture

Recoleta is an amazing neighborhood to visit; there are so many sights to see. I hope you all get the chance to go there and experience its beauty for yourself.



Until my next adventure,
Lisa


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GSE Spring 2012 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
University of Belgrano

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