Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scenes from a Cuban Cemetery


This is the famous Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) Cemetery in Havana, built in 1869 by a Galician architect, Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso (I love Spanish names!), who unfortunately also became its first occupant.


Having to endure the ordeals of the organised trip, we had little more than a quick glance from the bus, as we listened to the guide’s explanations, and a very short walk afterwards. Even like this, the impression of walking in an overgrown garden of stone was overwhelming. There is marble everywhere and a lot of Carrara marble. Yet I felt a serenity stronger than the sorrow in the frozen beauty of the stone angels…




By tradition, there are no flowers in the cemetery, except for one tomb alone, that of Amelia Goyri, who died in 1901 at the age of 23, giving birth to a child who also died three days later. A very sad story already… The legend says that the child had been buried at his mother’s feet. A year later, when they exhumed the body – I couldn’t tell you why except that they do that by tradition there – they found the child in his mother’s arms. Amelia is also known as La Milagrosa, The Miraculous One, and people from everywhere come to her tomb asking for her help, especially those who are trying desperately to have a child. It is said that Amelia helps them…




7 comments:

Bernita said...

I have always been sorry that the flat tomb is out of fashion in N.A.

strugglingwriter said...

Great pictures. The story of Amelia is interesting.

Paul

Taffiny said...

I do not like the idea of being buried, but if it must be done, this looks like the best place.

Beautiful place.

I don't often see a statue with iris. How strange to feel her looking at us. And what a lovely statue for such a sad story. It brings a sort of presence and strength, a vitality to her image.

Emperor Ropi said...

I love the 4th picture. It has an impression on me like I am in the 4th Rome.

jason evans said...

Wow!!

Gorgeous artwork.

Thanks so much for sharing these images! I have been known to appreciate cemeteries, you know.

Vesper said...

I haven't given the idea much thought, Bernita...

Thanks, Paul. It was quite moving to hear her story.

Taffiny, I found it a weird and beautiful place.

Ropi, yes, I thought of ancient Rome when walking in there.

Jason, I'm glad you like them. I posted this with you in mind.

SzélsőFa said...

I, too, love cemeteries. Thank you for the nice pictures, Vesper.