Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spooky Santiago

Santiago's General Cemetery may be spooky by night, but it's actually sunny and beautiful on a fall afternoon! 

I've been to the huge cemetery twice now - it's a great place to stroll around.  The cemetery is a mirror image of the city, in its construction and economic significance.  There are streets and pathways in the cemetery that have most of the same names as in the city (commemorating all of Chile's historical figures, of course).  At the grand arched entrance, there is a chapel. After that, the huge family tombs and intricate stonework begin.  You can see tons of familiar names of all the well-to-do Chilean families, both historically and currently.  As you cross the 'avenues' the graves get smaller.  Once there are no more large tombs that look like little houses, there are individual graves.  As you progress, there are rented graves - ones that are only leased individually to families.  In this part there was even a section for circus performers - all the clowns, contortionists and tricksters buried together under a replica of a circus tent.  Special graves such as Salvador Allende's and Violeta Parra's are there as well.

Presidential Grave of Eduardo Frei

Salvador Allende's white tomb, seen in the background.

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