Just Dying to Get In

After visiting the Teatro Colón, we walked down Avenida 9 de Julio to Avenido de Mayo (they like to name their streets after important dates here), then west on Avenido de Mayo to the Plaza de Congreso, where the Argentinian Congress meets. We hope that Rodin’s “Thinker” inspires them; maybe we can install one of these statues at our Capitol.

From the Congress building, we headed north to the Cementerio de la Recoleta, the cemetery of the rich and famous of Argentina. This country is almost 100% Catholic, a fact not lost on us as we watched Pope Benedict XVI announce his retirement today (effective on my birthday, February 28th), the first time in six centuries that a pontiff has resigned.

The Recoleta Cemetery is famous for being the burial place of Evita – Eva Duarte de Perón – who rose from humble beginnings to become (as wife of General and President [1946-1952] Juan Perón) one of the most powerful women in Argentine history.

Like the cemeteries in New Orleans, the coffins are placed in above-ground crypts.

The crypts are kinda creepy, many being open to view from the adjacent walkways…

We searched for Evita’s crypt, which wasn’t hard to find; all we had to do was follow the cruise ship tours.

I couldn’t understand why all these Americans and Canadians were so excited to take a picture of the tomb of this woman, but just to make sure we weren’t missing something special, I took a picture of it, too:

You’ll note that the family name on this tomb is “Duarte,” Evita’s maiden name. For some reason, although Evita was able to qualify for a crypt in Recoleta, her husband, El Presidente Juan Perón, did not. Odd, to say the least.

Anyway, the place, though eerie, was very peaceful…

…Ancient and Holy. Amen.

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