There’s a castle in the cemetery, but most people never see it. Stuck in a corner down a dead-end aisle, the organization whose members are be buried here often go unnoticed.
The Calpense Association for Mutual Assistance was one of many groups formed by immigrants from a specific region in Europe to assist new arrivals from their hometown. These organizations founded hospitals (important when immigrants could speak little Spanish) & gave women an outlet away from the home. So where did the Calpenses come from?
Phoenicians trading in the Mediterranean 3,000 years ago christened a landmark mountain “Calpe.” Called Gibraltar today, it has been a part of the British Commonwealth since the early 1700s. The castle design originated from a coat of arms granted by Queen Isabel—the same one who funded the voyage of Columbus. Remember it was Spanish territory at that time. The coat of arms became incorporated into the current Gibraltar flag & then reproduced in Recoleta Cemetery. The vault is a perfect copy of the castle:
The hanging key also forms part of the vault… look down at the doorstep to see it:
The interior is wide & spacious, & the stained glass on the back wall is worth checking out: