The Cristóbal Colón Cemetery (span.: Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón) in Havana, Cuba, is one of the most significant cemeteries in Latin America – both historically and architecturally.
The Cristóbal Colón Cemetery in the Vedado neighborhood was built in 1876 and designed by the Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso. He died during the initial construction and was the first to be buried at the cemetery. The graveyard was named after Christopher Columbus (span.: Cristóbal Colón), who landed in Cuba on October 28, 1492.
Today, the site spans 140 acres (57 ha) and holds 800,000 graves and 1 million interments – many of them in the 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults.
To me the most visually striking aspect of the site are all the beautiful statues, combining elegance with grief and hope. These are common to many larger Christian cemeteries, of course. More unusual and just as impressive
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to explore this city of the dead because I had a husband and Classic Car Taxi driver waiting for me outside. So in this video I can only show you impressions from the areas close to the entrance.
The cemetery is divided into quarters by major avenues. And those sections are divided again by the status and professions of the deceased. From what I understand some tombstones and buildings are in disarray – but I didn’t get to see anything like that during my short visit. Knowing that many Cubans and their off-spring live in exile, it saddens me to think of how many people are not able to visit and maintain the memorials of their family and ancestors.
You can look at more photos in the In Another Minute 2016 Flickr album and on my blog: Photos of Cementerio de Colón (Vedado, La Habana, Cuba).
Other videos from my Cuba trip in April:
Trinidad de Cuba (Cuba) – In Another Minute (Week 313)
Trinidad de Cuba (extended version)
Malecón (Havana, Cuba) – In Another Minute (Week 316)
La Habana Vieja, Old Havana (Havana, Cuba) – In Another Minute (314)
La Habana Vieja, Havana (Cuba) – Old Havana (extended version)
Centro Habana, Havana (Cuba) – In Another Minute (330)