Recoleta Cemetery is of great architectural value. It is an authentic outdoor art gallery, a unique exhibition of different architectural styles and sculptures. Its history is closely linked to the Franciscan Recollect Congregation, which gave its name to the neighborhood where they built a convent and the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church in 18th century. In fact, the cemetery was born along with the temple.
During the Rivadavia era, it was expropriated and transformed into the North Cemetery – first public cemetery in Buenos Aires. Then, during Torcuato de Alvear’s city hall, the cemetery was remodeled and the magnificent entrance was built.
In 1946 it was declared a National Historical Museum, given that, among its narrow streets, there rest independence heroes, presidents of the Republic, brave military men, excellent scientists, renowned artists and celebrities.
Former Presidents who rest in Recoleta
- Alfonsín, Raúl Ricardo [1927-2009]
- Alvear, Marcelo Torcuato [1868-1942]
- Aramburu, Pedro Eugenio [1903-1970]
- Avellaneda, Nicolás [1837-1885]
- De la Plaza, Victorino [1840-1919]
- Figueroa Alcorta José [1860-1931]
- Guido, José María [1910-1975]
- Illia, Arturo Humberto [1900-1981]
- Justo, Agustín Pedro [1876-1943]
- Lonardi, Eduardo [1896-1956]
- Mitre, Bartolomé [1821-1906]
- Pellegrini, Carlos [1846-1906]
- Quintana, Manuel [1835-1906]
- Roca, Julio [1843-1914]
- Sáenz Peña, Luis [1822-1907]
- Sáenz Peña, Roque [1851-1914]
- Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino [1811-1888]
- Uriburu, José Félix [1868-1932]
- Yrigoyen, Hipólito [1852-1933]
Famous figures in the tombs of the mausoleum
Outstanding figures from all walks of life rest in the cemetery pantheons. Among them are the remains of Eva Perón, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Remedios Escalada de San Martín, Mariquita Sánchez de Thompson, Luis Federico Leloir, Cosme Argerich, Armando Bó and Martín Karadagian among others.
Mysterious stories, ghosts and legends
About 80 cats live inside the cemetery, are privileged witnesses to everything that happens when the gates close at night. They have so much to tell us. With that look of superior air that casts us out, when they climb through walls that divide the entire property bounded by streets Azcuenaga, Vicente López, Junín and the complex of Buenos Aires Design.
Many stories keep these tombs, so distinguished for having the privilege of resting in the Paris of South America. One of the most chilling things we could get to know by cemetery personnel is legend of Rufina. A girl of only 19 years old who goes to an opera show, suffers an attack on the road. Doctors diagnose a sudden death. Her mother wanted to bury her immediately next to her family’s graves. To the surprise of the whole family, weeks later they realize that she had been buried alive! They asked themselves, totally devastated by the news,”What happened?” He had suffered a fit of catalepsy. They realized among other things that the drawer had moved from its original position.
Legend has it that one night in “Palais de Glace” a young man meets a beautiful girl dressed in white and with a pale face. She falls madly in love and when she is about to declare her love to him, she runs away in fear. He only managed to give her his own jacket and she took him. Next day he managed to find the address of the house by the name she had given him. When she rang the doorbell she met Rufina’s mother who, surprised, told her “she is my daughter, she died 20 years ago! The incredulous boy went with the mother to Rufina’s grave and his skin was ruined when he saw that the figure on the tombstone was the same as the girl he had met the night before. But that wouldn’t be all. He was completely astonished to see at the mausoleum door the sack he had given him as a token of his love. This is one of the many legends that make us tremble at the thought of it. Would you care to visit Rufina’s grave?
Guided visits to the cemetery and timetables
Located in Junín 1760 (CABA). Open every day from 8 am to 6 pm. Telephones: 4804-7040 / 4803-1594.
Guided tours are free and last 1 hour. They are from Tuesday to Friday at 11 am, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 11 am and 3 pm. The tour is guided by a specialized guide and only in Spanish. Entrance through main entrance door.
In addition, the City of Buenos Aires Tourist Board offers a guided tour of Recoleta, which includes the cemetery. This tour is only on Thursdays at 3 pm. at Av. Quintana 596, at the Tourist Attention office.
How to get to the cemetery by subway and bus?
- Line H (Las Heras station) approximately 5 blocks away
- Line D (Pueyrredón station) approximately 12 blocks away
Line 10, 17, 37, 38, 41, 59, 60, 61, 62, 67, 92, 93, 95, 101, 102, 108, 118, 124 y 130.
Map of Recoleta Cemetery