5 Curious Stories from the Recoleta Cemetery

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(photo by mejillahyde)

Given the stories and characters the Recoleta cemetery holds, its no wonder that authors Jorge Luis Borges and Bioy Casares used to walk around it together and fantasize about the dead they would befriend if they were to be buried there themselves someday. Great political figures, scientists, writers and other important characters of the city are buried in this cemetery full of stories of broken hearts, love and hate, friendship, obsession, loyalty and ghosts. We looked into some of them and put together five of these curious anecdotes to share with you:

1-Wedded Un-Bliss

Tiburcia Dominguez and her husband Salvador María del Carril spent thirty years of their married lives without speaking to each other. The hatred they lived with for years was taken to their graves after the widow stated in her will that their statues were to be facing opposite directions.

2- To Die For

Gravedigger David Alleno worked for thirty years in the cemetery, where he destined his life savings to his very own plot in the burial ground that obsessed him. The sad story tells that after putting the finishing touches to his precious spot, he went home and killed himself.

3- Homage from a Son

Tomas Guido, one of the generals in the Argentine Wars of Independence was originally buried in the Recoleta Cemetery. His tomb, which took the form, a grotto was built by poet Carlos Guido Spano, one of his sons, who took upon the task of layering each stone with his own hands as a symbol of the humility they had always lived with.

4-The Employee of a Lifetime

The Saenz Valiente family was so happy with their servant, Catalina Dogan that they decided to give her a burial place in the prestigious cemetery. Given the class system of the time, they did however bury her at a distance, outside of the family vault.

5-The Buried Bride

Elisa Brown awaited the return of her fiancée Frances Drummond who fought against Brazil under the command of Admiral Brown (Elisa’s father). Upon his death the young commander handed a watch for the admiral to give to Elisa. The young woman, devastated by the tragic news is said to have drowned herself in her wedding dress to be reunited with the soul of her lover.

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