Skip to content

Category: Vistas

502. juan berisso

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

Between 1869 & 1871, Buenos Aires endured two disastrous epidemics: first, cholera, that left 9,000 dead & second, yellow fever, which claimed 14,000 victims. The city government put into practice new sanitation practices, including the removal of tanneries & slaughterhouses from residential areas. Business owners received big tax breaks if they agreed to relocate.

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

Due to those incentives, Juan Bautista Berisso—an Genovese immigrant born in 1834—purchased 28 hectares in Ensenada, near the future location of La Plata. He established a successful tannery & in following years acquired a distillery, a vegetable oil factory, dock facilities & a number of cattle ranches.

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

Berisso passed away in 1893 & is buried in an extraordinary family plot rarely seen by tourists because of its somewhat hidden location. Beautiful works by Italian sculptor Alessandro Biggi decorate the mausoleum, with Chronos (Father Time) on the left, a female angel with an anchor on the right & two lions guarding the entrance:

Buenos Aires, Recoleta Cemetery, Berisso

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

In La Plata, another branch of the Berisso family built the largest mausoleum in the cemetery, currently abandoned:

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Berisso

1 Comment

489. familia duarte plaques

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Naturally, most plaques on the Duarte family mausoleum pay homage to its most famous member: Eva Perón. Varied organizations, such as the large CGT workers’ union & residents of her home town, make expected appearances. However, the most surprising of the bunch would be the Sindicato de Peones de Taxis… the taxi drivers’ union. I wonder what connections they had in order to obtain family permission to post a plaque:

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón plaque

Other family members also share the limited space. Eva’s brother, Juan Duarte, supposedly committed suicide, but several historians have proposed that he fell out of favor with Perón after Eva died… perhaps with Perón even ordering Juan’s murder. We will likely never know the truth:

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Juan Duarte plaques

Finally, three plaques are for Major Alfredo Arrieta, husband of Eva’s sister, Elisa. He retired from the military in 1938 then served as senator for the Province of Buenos Aires from 1946 until his death in 1950:

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Major Alfredo Arrieta plaques

Leave a Comment

475. “destinos” television series

Buenos Aires, Recoleta Cemetery, Destinos series

Who else learned Spanish by watching the tv series “Destinos” besides me? There must be a few people who remember the scene filmed inside Recoleta Cemetery.

Produced in 1992, 52 30-minute episodes of “Destinos” taught viewers Spanish grammar & conversation in the format of a telenovela/soap opera. Lawyer Raquel Rodríguez is hired by Don Fernando to uncover a family mystery. As Raquel seeks clues in Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico & México, the series does a good job of exposing learners not only to fantastic scenery but also region-specific variants of the language.

In Episode 12, Raquel travels to Buenos Aires to meet with Arturo. At 16:50, he takes Raquel to Recoleta Cemetery & reveals more about his family’s past. Dedication plaques shown in the episode are only props,& the exact location of filming was easy to find since there are only four diagonal walkways in the cemetery… looks pretty much the same today, except for the new sidewalk tiles placed in 2003:

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Destinos series

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

2 Comments