Without any doubt, we suggest you to visit the Colon Cemetery, in Vedado, Havana. We assure you this will be a different tour. This site, rather than being a place of eternal rest, has priceless artistic and architectural values. This funerary city covers 57 hectares and is divided by two wide intersected avenues forming a central cross. There, you will find a big number of sculptures and pantheons dedicated to institutions and personalities of the struggles, sciences, arts, politics, sports and religion.

This extensive area where the green vegetation is combined with white marble pieces, was designed by the Spanish architect Calixto Aureliano de Loire and Cardoso. Its construction began in 1871 and took about 15 years to complete. The entrance porch reflects the mix of symbolism and beauty. This Carrara marble monument, 34 meters long and 21 meters high, alludes to three theological virtues: charity, faith and hope. Known as the Gate of Peace, this facade is perhaps the only Arc of Triumph in Cuba.

Colon Cemetery parts acquire its artistic value for its size, styles, aesthetic, and the use of very expensive materials and the reputation of the authors. During your visit, you will appreciate pieces of styles like Art Nouveau, Art Deco, neocolonial and rationalism with marble materials imported, granite and slate. In the many pantheons stands the use of arches, domes and stained glass. Most reflect the time of construction, property or some aspect of the personality of the deceased.

The most visited grave is Amelia Goire’s, known as “La Milagrosa”. The circumstances of the death of this lady of high society made her famous among the people from Havana and according to popular tradition, women bring offerings and requests for their children.

Located on the corner of Avenue Zapata & Calle 12 in Vedado, Colon Cemetery was declared a National Monument in 1987 and is the most important throughout Cuba. It is considered largest necropolis of America and specialists recognize it as third largest cemetery in the world, after Staglieno, in Italy, and Montjuic, in Spain.

For visit: Avenue Zapata & Calle 12, Vedado, La Habana (“23.12589, -82.39876”). Entrance charge daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez