La Chacarita

Friday, 09 October, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

La Chacarita is probably the largest cemetery in the world. It occupies well over 200 acres, making up practically by itself a whole neighbourhood of Buenos Aires - a true City of the Dead right in the middle of the City of the Mortally Dumb (CABA in the local Spanish dialect).

These pictures are from about a tenth of it.


The main entrance.


Fronton detail of said main entrance.


Street of dead people in city of dead people. Do you see dead people ?


The "pantheon" of the Spanish-Argentine Mutual Society. A mutual society is an arrangement whereby the beneficiaries of some sort of commercial activity are also the owners of the agent engaging in it (unlike a cooperative, where the workers are the owners). Currently most mutual societies exist in the insurance business, which isn't too far removed from their original purpose : mutual burial (a sort of tontine lugubre, where a number of people agree to pay a farthing or something every time one of them dies).

A "pantheon", meanwhile, in the sense it receives in Castellan aka South American Spanish, is a slightly glorified chapel. Here's another one :


That's the Galician one (and yes, Galicia is very differencia from Espana, because reasons).


Inside. It may look like a church, but it most definitely doesn't feel like a church. The thinness of the walls is palpable - not silent enough, damp, sad. One feels exactly like inside an overpretentious cemetery chapel aiming to be a metropolitan cathedral over a hundred square yards.


There was also an announcement on one of the walls, that it is reminded to the Srs associates that as the marble slabs crack, they will be replaced with plastic slabs as per the decision of the so and so body. It... sounds about right, you're not worth the marble your grandparents took for granted. They should have had better children.

Or fewer of them, at any rate. But mostly, better.


Pretty cool gate, huh.


Back outside. For a thousand autism points, can you spot the face ?

No ?

Here it is :


Pareidolia. It's a thing. And no, the inscription doesn't read GGOO. It reads 6600. Because yes, 6600 ash repositories. Which is nothing :


The entire thing is surrounded by what originally looks like a 3 meter tall wall. It's not a 3 meter tall wall, it's an 8 ash receptacle tall wall. And on it goes, for easily 50 miles : 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1008. And that's a foot. 1009, and 1010 and then 1011 and 1012, halfway there. 1013, 1014, 1015, 1016. Another foot. And another and another and another. People, at some point, all of these, now ashes, for a long time ashes, confronting the elements. Just how well was that copper jesus affixed ? It will fall off. Sooner or later everything will fall off, enough rains will wash the most stubborn pigment out of the most resilient marble, but death is forever.


Immutability, you know ? It's a thing.


And yet... isn't the colonade pretty ?


A trunk that's seen some things.


The quality of the stone around these parts is unimpressive. Nevertheless, on occasion one can see decent stonework.


And even better than decent.


Freehand macro, for my fans in #b-a. The original image (available after the jump) was cropped to 2400x1800, but otherwise is unmodified. I only took the one shot. Same old Sony Cybershot (and yes I've checked, it has a weird trapezoidal USB connector unknown to sense).


Senor Eugenio Pini supported sports in Argentina. The manly kinds, with a sword and such. He died, aged 80, just before the war could get interesting. A cemetery is this great machine for turning ridiculous and out of place into quaint. The necessary limit to anachronism, as it were.


Judging by the rusting cart, the Lewis family didn't fare too well.

Yes, that was a pun, like the "as it were" was before.


No, it's not that Borges. It's another Borges. The name Borges is not that common, and apparently there did at some point exist an Emilio or Ector or something or the other that was worthy of a lot and a statue on that lot. But who ? I defy you, find out.

Go forth and google. Go, discover the cigarette paper nature of your "control" over the world. Go, find E. Borges.


Die in 1939 in Buenos Aires, get Art Deco plaque. Problem ?


The folds are masterfully executed, but the body line, now that part's perfect. Absolutely pity to have such work lost to the sad limestone of Argentina.


"It seems your terms are... not acceptable."


One of the better plaques.


Buenos Aires Dick Tracy.


Isn't this a splendid idea for a votive ? The guy was an anarchist, if you're curious and Google's still useless to you.


Pretty great name, wouldn't you say ? Especially through the marked contrast with the tomb it rests upon... do you suppose maybe this guy spent his entire life trying to be a stolid, respectable accountant or something just to escape his circus name and for no other reason ?


A street's worth of small stone houses, in which dessicated ex-people sleep all day and connive all night!



A very happy tree. Think about it.


This is where you go if you're poor.

Well, not altogether poor, of course. Relatively poor. If you're altogether poor you don't go anywhere. No, not even to Heaven.


Not only a very nice little grave, but the woman's name is nothing less than Maria Mignon Stefanelli de Puzzovio. Wouldn't you fuck her, on the strength of that name alone ?

Hints & clues : Puzzo suggests stench in Italian and infantile penis in Romanian.


Very valuable unique Pepe do not steal.


Nothing lasts forever.


In case you were curious what's inside one of the little houses.



As we were walking through the... campus, basically, I said that were I tyrant, I'd build the university and the cemetery jointly, so one side were this and one side that. Then the kids could go play hookie and fuck among the graves, as they'd have some god damned privacy there. This was met with protests that it doesn't sound like such terrible tyranny.

After which we ran towards a strange vision of a stairwell, and it was suggested that perhaps this is the university part. It... wasn't.



Multi-level holes in the ground, to store row upon row upon row of dead people like so many library cards. Go, read. Understand. Remember.


And speaking of dumbass cluckers, winged rats and other fauna,


In detail :


Supposedly Napoleon said, while walking into Moscow at the head of a defeated army, that if only he had had the good luck to be cut in half by a cannonball or something, he could have forever lived as a hero. It is my considered opinion that Peron is nothing but a Ceausescu that had such good fortune. Had he lived to be seventy he'd have been taken out and shot for Christmas as well, and Argentina wouldn't be in the shitter it's in today.

The only thing this country owes Peron is fifty thousand days of urination.


I suppose this is how the funeral piece of one Alf will look, if he ever manages to get the S.NSA share value off the ground.

Above depicted, during kindergarten years.


This is where the horses go. And completely unrelatedly, in closing, sky :


Category: La pas prin lume
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8 Responses

  1. I saw this. But only through holes in the fence - the gates were shut by the time I got to it. Will probably go straight there when I go back to the town. Mega-cemetery!

  2. I wonder if anyone does hansom death rides through there.

  3. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 9 October 2015

    @Stanislav Datskovskiy No, no, you saw Recoleta Cemetery, which is much smaller and also older. This is about 15 miles off from where we hung out.

    @pletzalcoatl What a splendrigorous idea!

  4. Nah, ben_vulpes and I actually strolled through Recoleta.
    This one, we went past on foot, much later, after hanging out with Chetty.

  5. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 9 October 2015

    Oh okay then. I think it closes at 5pm or somesuch.

  6. Cemetery surrounded by campus exists, and I happened to attend that university myself. Sadly, I lived off-campus and have not thought much about that kind of extracurricular activities. It is also laid out too haphazardly to be a tyrant's intent. For curious, the dorms are visible in the front, the cemetery entrance on the left and university is beyond the cemetery:

  7. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 10 October 2015

    Pretty cool!

  1. [...] Urn storage, vaguely reminiscent of La Chacarita. [...]

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