Christopher Columbus Cemetery Interesting Places, Havana . Cuba
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- Zapata Calzada, esq. 12, Vedado. Havana City
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
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Inside "Colón Cemetery" you will find the biggest concentration of statues and funerary monuments in Cuba. This world famous cemetery, is located just at the city center, near to Revolution Square by Zapata Street. Its opening was at 70th decade of XIX century, its architect was Calixto de Loira, he was one of the first bodies buried in this new cemetery at that time on September 29, 1872.
It's all fenced by a wide parietal wall, because of its location, it's one of the biggest anachronisms the visitor can find, although it's a better commentary for urbanity workers than for neighbors, who are grateful by its nearing because Cubans go to visit their dear dead many times a year.
It may be seen as a great sculptural museum outdoor which its imposing beauty can be see from its own main access of romantic style, been showed as an ending of the great size sculpture made by José Vilalta de Saavedra, in which he artist represented theologian virtues like Faith, Hope and Charity.
An statue in the cemetery of Colon The cemetery is expanded around two main avenues at its joining point make a perfect cross. It's as by its luxury and its conception a small city of marbles, bronzes, angels and crosses, and as a diverse allegories who show the great imagination of the artists allowing to appreciate the dead's social class as the acknowledgment they deserved by the people. Something certainly truth is that those graves were almost always the result of the familiar collect or by another hand the popular tribute; like these are the cases like the built to Catalina Laza by her second husband Juan Pedro Baró; which keeps the nest of Gómez "Mena family; or that where were buried the rest of the Leonor Pérez's body, José Martí's mother, next to camera dedicated to Máximo Gómez, the great General who fought in both Cuban In dependency Wars in XIX century. All these monuments are placed at Cristobal Colón avenue, the main one of this cemetery going from the main door until the central chapel, which side walls were decorated by the Cuban painter, Miguel Melero.
An statue in the cemetery of Colon. Also there are interesting funerary monuments like the built for seven medicine students executed on November 27,1871, guilty of profaning the Spanish Don Gonzalo de Castañón's tomb, or that which was built by the Spanish sculptors Agustin Querol and Julio M. Zapata, raised in honor to the firefighters and neighbors victims in the great fire of Asasi" hardware store on May 17,1870.
Make a walk in this big block by any of its doors is like to travel back in time and meeting the starring of this cemetery history, their habits, culture and mark.
"Colón Cemetery" raises majestic few meters from the centric crossing of 23 and 12 streets, one of the most popular corners at Vedado. This place is a meeting between art and history and between us with them.
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Christopher Columbus Cemetery is located in Havana
Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.
The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.
The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.
Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.
Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.
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This 56 hectare necropolis, one of the paramount funeral treasures on earth, is laid out like a huge garden with palm trees and other tropical exotic plants. You will enter this “grandeur artistique” walking through a Calixto de Loyra-doorway, decorated with marble elements by Villalta. In this Garden of Eden where graves and pantheons represent an amazing mixture of styles from the baroque and neoclassic to modernist or art deco periods, we prefer the stunning mausoleum of dead firemen, the ones of the eight students, and the abakuás, the Steinart chapel and the one of Constante Ribalaigua (a former cocktail-mixer at the legendary Floridita Bar), the so-called “tumba del Amor”(love-grave), the grave of Capablanca (a famous chess-player), the one of “la ficha de domino”, the Egypt crypt, the Tobías gallery, the pantheon of Aguilera with Rita Longa sculptures and the one of Falla-Bonet with Benlliure art-works. Two of the tombs are worthy of being mentioned apart: “La Milagrosa”, the most attended and venerated of them all, which legend is famous everywhere (it has to be left walking backwards) and the one containing the rests of Leocadia Perez, incarnation of Tá José, spirit of an African slave which is paid homage by spirituals and Cuban “santeros”.
This cemetery is famous throughout Latin America because of its beauty and magnificence. Founded in 1876, it holds nearly a million graves. Prominent Cuban sculptors such as Ramos Blancos, among others, embellished many of the headstones. Afro-Cuban religious practices are common throughout the island and this cemetery is no exception. It is not uncommon to find rag-dolls and fruits lying next to the graves as offerings to the gods. There is also a popular local legend about la Milagrosa or Miraculous Lady, who died in childbirth along with her infant and whose tomb is now a shrine for believers.
Lying on the south-western side of the city centre is this beautiful area of Havana, the Cemetario de Colon. This enormous series of cemeteries covers around 125 acres / 50 hectares and is loaded with mausoleums, gravestones and crypts, as well as many intricate sculptures and memorials. The Cemetario de Colon is a good alternative to the city's main parks for escaping the sun. Open: daily - 08:00 to 17:00
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