Evita Peron’s burial site at La Recoleta Cemetery…A movie to remember…Comments for our 2000th post…

We could see we’d found Evita’s family crypt.

The first mausoleum most visitors rush to see upon their arrival at La Recoleta Cemetery is that of Evita Perón, first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death from cancer in 1952.  We were no different than others and excitedly rushed to her site as soon as we discovered where it was located.

Here is information about Evita from this site:

Eva Perón
Eva Perón Retrato Oficial.jpg
First Lady of Argentina
In office
4 June 1946 – 26 July 1952
President Juan Perón
Preceded by Conrada Victoria Farrell
Succeeded by Mercedes Lonardi (1955)
President of the Eva Perón Foundation
In office
8 July 1948 – 26 July 1952
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Delia Parodi
Personal details
Born Eva María Duarte
7 May 1919
Los Toldos, Argentina
Died 26 July 1952 (aged 33)Buenos Aires, Argentina
Resting place La Recoleta Cemetery
Political party Justicialist Party
Peronist Feminist Party
Spouse(s) Juan Perón (1945–1952)
Signature
Eva María Duarte de Perón (7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952) was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón or Evita.

She was born in poverty in the rural village of Los Toldos, in the Pampas, as the youngest of five children. At 15 in 1934, she moved to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. She met Colonel Juan Perón there on 22 January 1944 during a charity event at the Luna Park Stadium to benefit the victims of an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina. The two were married the following year. Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina in 1946; during the next 6 years, Eva Perón became powerful within the pro-Peronist trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of labor rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed women’s suffrage in Argentina, and founded and ran the nation’s first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party.

In 1951, Eva Perón announced her candidacy for the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving great support from the Peronist political base, low-income and working-class Argentines who were referred to as descamisados or “shirtless ones”. However, opposition from the nation’s military and the bourgeoisie, coupled with her declining health, ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy.[1] In 1952, shortly before her death from cancer at 33, Eva Perón was given the title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress.[2][3][4] She was given a state funeral upon her death, a prerogative generally reserved for heads of state.

Eva Perón has become a part of the international popular culture,[5][page needed] most famously as the subject of the musical Evita (1976).[6]Even today, Evita has never left the collective consciousness of Argentines.[3] Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first elected female President of Argentina, and many other leaders attest that women of her generation owe a debt to Eva for “her example of passion and combativeness.”  

 






A few evenings prior to our visit to La Recoleta Cemetery, we downloaded and watched the popular movie about her life, Evita, starring Madonna.  The film, an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical portrayed the story of her life as the often beloved countrywoman, still revered by many Argentines to this day.

Some of these flowers, left at her site, were fresh while others were artificial.

There’s a lot of controversy about Eva Perón that continues to swirl around her memory but we won’t get into that here. You can read about the controversy over the movie, here at this link

Madonna embracing Antonio Banderas from behind, with the film name written in bold red color above the image.
Poster from the movie Evita in 1996.

Instead, we saw the representation of her life and death at La Recoleta Cemetery as she was entombed with other members of the Duarte family.  It was interesting to see but we’re aren’t into “celebrity” all that much. 

Our perception of “celebrity” is that “famous” people are just like us, they just happened to be in the right circumstances at the right time, with certain skills or opportunities that aided in propelling them into the limelight. 

Could this be the 50th year from when Evita was entombed at the Duarte family mausoleum?

And yet, in various countries, we’ve seen people lining the boulevards to get but a glimpse of a public figure of one type or another.  But, if seeing their beloved celebrity brings them joy, then its purpose is clearly defined.  I get excited to see a warthog.  I suppose that makes me no different.

The street was so narrow and it impossible to get a got shot of the entire mausoleum.  However, it wasn’t as large or as ostentatious as many others.
On the other hand, Tom, revels in the element of surprise and the unexpected, such as when we encountered, four years ago today, three dozen elephants walking along the road in Kruger National Park. See this link for photos and details. “Safari luck.”
As we wandered through row after row of ornate mausolea (yep, that’s the plural of mausoleum. Who knew?) we continually searched for the Duarte or Perón name, never knowing quite what to expect.


A commemorative plaque in honor of Evita added in the year 2000.

We’d failed to get a map of the facility when we entered figuring we could weave in and out of the rows upon rows of sites.  With no luck, we finally encountered an employee and in Spanish, I asked, “Dov’è Evita Peron?”  Immediately, he pointed us in the right direction. 

We weren’t too far away.  As we entered the long narrow “street” it was easy to see where her mausoleum was located with the crowd gathered at the site. We patiently and quietly waited our turn to take photos and read the inscriptions as shown in today’s photos.

Several commemorative plaques for Evita added over the years.

La Recoleta Cemetery is definitely worth visiting when in Buenos Aires.  There are numerous affordable tours available online at a number of sites and as tours offered on cruises that spend a night or two docked in Buenos Aires. 

As usual, we prefer to go at our own pace, avoiding crowded bus rides and tours. Some may say we’d learn more if we booked a tour but we always read volumes of information about the venue from many reliable sites both before and after visiting. This works well for us. 

Many have ornate doors and entrances.
Keeping our lives relatively stress free and uncomplicated is the gist of our world travels. If we can avoid strict time constraints, huge crowds, traffic and waiting for extended periods in long queues, we’re most content.


Some of the mausolea have granite or marble surfaces.
Speaking of our lives of world travel, yesterday we uploaded our 2000th post. I can’t recall doing 2000 of anything, other than having heartbeats, days or weeks of life, the number of steps taken on my Fitbit or number of meals consumed, etc.

Many of the mausolea were smaller and unassuming than others.

Two thousand posts? If someone told me seven years ago I had to write 2000 stories at a rate of one per day, including fairly decent photos, in order to be allowed to travel the world, I’d have said “Forget about it! It’s too much pressure! It would spoil the experience!”

This stone crypt was particularly interesting.


And yet, here we are, 2000 posts later and, each day, we are grateful for the opportunity to have shared yet another morsel of our lives on the move with each and every one of our worldwide readers.

In the center of town, La Recoleta Cemetery is a popular location for tourists to visit.

Many write to us expressing their gratitude for our daily stories, as we continue to be vulnerable and revealing as to the most intimate aspects of this humble life.  But, we are grateful for all of YOU for inspiring us and providing us with an added purpose that only enhances the quality of this life we lead. 

Health provided, there will be 2000 or more yet to come.

May all of you join in good health with us as you share each day of our journey at our side.

_________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 17, 2017:

View of the Huon River from the veranda of our vacation home in Geeveston, Tasmania.  For photos of the house please click here.

Sightseeing at a most unusual place…Today is our 2000th post!…More on that in tomorrow’s post

This scene at La Recoleta Cemetery particularly caught our eye.

We decided it was time to go sightseeing again.  With the days dwindling until we depart Buenos Aires (one week from today) and confusing packing ahead of us when we’re leaving the majority of our clothing and supplies behind at the Prodeo Hotel to pick up after the cruise, we knew we wanted to get out one more time.

A few included a statue of the deceased, especially those of political or cultural significance.

We reviewed all of the possibilities deciding the La Recoleta Cemetery, one of the most interesting cemeteries in the world, would be our top choice.  If anywhere in Buenos Aires would bespeak history and culture, this would be the place to visit.

The entrance to La Recoleta Cemetary located in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Taking a taxi to the Recoleta neighborhood made the most sense rather than figuring out bus schedules.  At a distance of only 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from our hotel, it resulted in a 20-minute taxi ride through busy midday traffic at a cost of US $14.34 (ARS 270) for the round trip including tip

As soon as we began the walk through the cemetery we knew it would be an unusual experience from other cemeteries we’ve visited in other countries.

The driver dropped us off at the entrance to the cemetery (no entrance fee is charged for this venue) and the moment we peered beyond the entrance, we knew we were in for a treat. We’ve often visited cemeteries in different parts of the world when it provides us with an interesting perspective on the culture of generations often going back hundreds of years.

La Recoleta Cemetery was no exception.  Here’s is the link to some fascinating information about this proud heritage for the people of Argentina which is also a popular tourist attraction.

The blue sky and fluffy clouds were an excellent backdrop for our photos.

Upon entering the massive facility, it was difficult to decide which direction to take when it was laid out compared to a neighborhood/network of interlocking streets with each individual monument consisting of a unique historical story, design, and architecture, almost like “homes.”

Many of the mausoleums had simple lines and design while others were ornate.

In essence, there are “homes” for the dead where they’ll rest for hundreds of more years to come.  From time to tie, we encountered the mausoleums/crypts were crumbling from age and were in the process of repair. 

Others were aged and degenerating with perhaps no family members remaining or if so, those would want to or could afford to bear the expense of rebuilding the ornate structures housing their ancestor/ancestors.

Each mausoleum has its own story to tell.

Many were family crypts with the surname emblazoned across the top or entrance to the massive structures.  What is particularly unique about La Recoleta Cemetery is the fact that all it contains are mausoleums.  

Here’s more information about the cemetery from this site:
“La Recoleta Cemetery (Spanish: Cementerio de la Recoleta) is a cemetery located in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos AiresArgentina. It contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perónpresidents of ArgentinaNobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy, and a granddaughter of Napoleon. In 2011, the BBC hailed it as one of the world’s best cemeteries,[ and in 2013, it was listed among the 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the world.

The monks of the Order of the Recoletos arrived in this area, then the outskirts of Buenos Aires, in the early eighteenth century. The cemetery is built around their convent and a church, Our Lady of Pilar (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar), built in 1732. The order was disbanded in 1822, and the garden of the convent was converted into the first public cemetery in Buenos Aires. Inaugurated on 17 November of the same year under the name of Cementerio del Norte (Northern Cemetery),  those responsible for its creation were the then-Governor Martin Rodríguez, who would be eventually buried in the cemetery, and government minister Bernardino Rivadavia. The 1822 layout was done by French civil engineer Próspero Catelin, who also designed the current facade of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral.[ The cemetery was last remodeled in 1881, while Torcuato de Alvear was mayor of the city, by the Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo

There are only a few mausoleums of this style with varying structures for various family members.

Set in 5.5 hectares (14 acres), the site contains 4691 vaults, all above ground, of which 94 have been declared National Historical Monuments by the Argentine government and are protected by the state. The entrance to the cemetery is through neo-classical gates with tall Doric columns. The cemetery contains many elaborate marble mausoleums, decorated with statues, in a wide variety of architectural styles such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Baroque, and Neo-Gothic, and most materials used between 1880 and 1930 in the construction of tombs were imported from Paris and Milan.

Many of the mausolea appeared as miniature churches.

The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums. These mausoleums are still being used by rich families in Argentina that have their own vault and keep their deceased there. While many of the mausoleums are in fine shape and well-maintained, others have fallen into disrepair. Several can be found with broken glass and littered with rubbish. Among many memorials are works by notable Argentine sculptors, Lola Mora and Luis Perlotti for instance. The tomb of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak, due to its unusual design, is of special interest.”

Many of the streets appeared as a city block, neatly arranged.

While roaming through the network of “streets” we met a lovely couple from Australia and chatted with them for awhile.  They were equally in awe of the cemetery and also enthralled when we shared a little about our love of their people and their continent after spending over two years in and around Australia. 

With mausoleums added over varying centuries, the blocks were often of varying sizes and widths, as in the case of this very narrow walkway.

Other than our English speaking hotel staff, we’ve had little opportunity to converse with English speaking people while out and about.  And, in this particular area of Palermo, there are considerably less tourists than in other parts of the city of Buenos Aires.

We gave them one of our business cards when they’d asked to read about our many experiences in Australia.  Then, last night while waiting in the queue for “40% off-happy-hour” at La Cabrera we met another lovely young couple from Ireland who were on a four-month honeymoon after getting married close to Christmas.  They were thrilled to hear we’d be spending three months in their country upcoming in spring/summer 2019.

There are statues atop most of the structures indicative of the religious and/or spiritual beliefs of the deceased.

As it turned out, the four of us shared a table at the restaurant and had a lovely dinner together.  It couldn’t have been more enjoyable.  Back at our hotel after dark, we grabbed my computer and headed to the hotel bar where we watched an episode of “Top of the Lake.”  There wasn’t another hotel guest in sight.

A few were not the traditional grey stone exterior, as the case of this dark green structure.

After a very fitful night’s sleep warranting a 20-minute nap later this afternoon, we’re content to stay put today (until dinner) while continuing to research vacation/holiday home rentals for our upcoming lengthy itinerary

It was equally interesting for us to see the older, more weathered mausoleums.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos of Evita (Eva) Perrone’s mausoleum, which most visitors flock to when visiting La Recoleta Cemetery.  It was a good day.  Please check back tomorrow for more.

In tomorrow’s post, we’d like to mention a little more about today being our 2000th post!  We can’t believe it!  Can you?

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2017:

The scenery in Hobart, Tasmania was breathtaking.  We returned to Hobart, a 40-minute drive from our vacation home in the Huon Valley, at a later day for more photos.  For more photos, please click here.