Tag Archives: Eva Peron

La Recoleta

If Buenos Aires’ founding fathers spared nothing in building the new world’s most beautiful metropolis, neither did their progeny stint in building its most beautiful necropolis.

A calle in La Recoleta
A calle in La Recoleta

Cementario de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires first public cemetery, was the brainchild of Governor Martin Rodriguez and his minister Bernardino Rivadavia.  It was opened on November 17, 1822 and the first person interred there was Juan Benito, a freed slave.  Since then it has been the city’s preferred and most prestigious resting place.

Historically it’s fascinating – all the greatest and richest of Argentina rest in peace at Recoleta. Artistically, it’s amazing – some of the most elaborate and ostentatious mausoleums in the world are here at Recoleta.

Every day thousands of people – tourists, as well as locals paying their respects to deceased relatives pass through the Doric portico at Recoleta’s entrance. Only the elite, however, those with great fortunes and even greater names, find their final resting places here. The most visited grave is that of Evita, Argentina’s most famous female, who lies with the rest of her Duarte family.

It’s an interesting and restful day (or two), walking the peaceful, pristine and shady calle of Recoleta.

La Casa Rosada

La Casa Rosada
La Casa Rosada

On the eastern edge of the Plaza de Mayo, looking down across the smart new architecture of the Puerto Madero, stands one of Buenos Aires most beautiful and famous buildings – La Casa Rosada or the Pink House.

La casa Rosada was built during the 1868 to 1874 presidency of Domingo F. Sarmiento, on the site of the 18th century Fuerte Viejo, the original Fort of Buenos Aires, overlooking the Rio Plata. But after almost a century and a half of land reclamation and building La Casa Rosado stands more than a kilometre from the sea. Its striking pink colour, it is said, was Domingo Sarmiento’s attempt to bring peace to Argentina by blending the red of the Federalists with the white of their rivals, the Unitarists.

From the balconies that face the Plaza de Mayo, many famous Argentine leaders, including Juan and Eva Peron, have preached to their public. It was also from the balcony of La Casa Rosada, that Madonna, playing Eva Peron in the film Evita, delivered her unforgettable rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

Like Argentina, La Casa Rosada has lived through hard times. In 1955, at the time of the Revolucion Libertadora which ousted Juan Peron, it came under fire from the navy. During the Military Regime of 1976 to 1983, it was sinister, secret place, out of bounds to all but government officials.

These days, la Casa Rosada is open to the public, but bookings and photo ID are essential.

At the Museo de la Casa Rosada, relics from the old fort are on show, along with memorabilia from past presidencies, including the Peron era