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Category: Black + white

109. francisco antonio de herrero

Francisco Antonio de Herrero, Recoleta Cemetery

“Here lies, Sir Francisco Antonio de Herrero, born the 25th of September of 1758, in San Miguel de Aras, mountains of Santander in Spain. He passed away the 6th of February of 1837, at the age of 78 years, 4 months & 11 days. He was a faithful husband, a refined & noble friend. This monument is consecrated in his memory, as a tribute of duty & gratitude. —His widow Madame Mercedes de Aramburu.”

Francisco Antonio de Herrero, Recoleta Cemetery

Francisco Antonio de Herrero, Recoleta Cemetery

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098. deep down

Since the purpose of family vaults was to house multiple generations, underground storage became a necessity. So how deep do vaults go? Several meters, sometimes with more space below than there is above.

If the mausoleum occupies a wide enough lot, there will be a staircase which leads down to lower levels of storage. Narrow lots may not have room for a staircase, but remove the metal grate & ladders accomplish the same goal. It makes for a tight fit in some cases:

Underground storage, Recoleta Cemetery

Underground storage, Recoleta Cemetery

Underground storage, Recoleta Cemetery

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093. historic photo 2

Frank Carpenter 1923 photo of Recoleta Cemetery

Avid world traveler Frank G. Carpenter gets credit for this photo of Recoleta Cemetery. Included in the 1923 book The Tail of the Hemisphere: Chile & Argentina, Marc of Asado Argentina kindly scanned this for me along with many other wonderful photos of Buenos Aires in the 1920s. Thanks!

The accompanying text reads:

In the Recoleta Cemetery, the dead sleep in little marble palaces. It is divided into paved streets with the homes of the departed, a house and a lot for each rich family and humbler, more congested quarters for the poor.

A stunning photo for the lack of edification around the cemetery—dozens of tall buildings surround it today—much has changed inside the cemetery since then as well. After staring at this photo for 20 minutes, I found two landmarks which finally allowed me to pinpoint the location from where it was taken… the bell tower of the Iglesia de Pilar.

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073. women in mourning

One of the most common sculptures in Recoleta Cemetery is a woman, usually cloaked or shrouded, in mourning. Since Catholicism stresses the role of Mary as mother & wife, a grieving woman has powerful symbolism here. Below are examples which range from tender to downright spooky.

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

Mourning woman, Recoleta Cemetery

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