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Colón Cemetery, a must in Havana


This cemetery is the resting place of the main families of Havana and is a sculptural monument to loved ones resting there since the late nineteenth century. It stands out for the beauty and richness of the sculptures that adorn the tombs, which make this place an attraction of unique architectural beauty.

Colon Cemetery, Havana, Cuba

This is also the only American cemetery dedicated to the great navigator who discovered the Americas and the Cuban archipelago within it. It's a place where the green of Cuban nature contrasts with the marble majesty and tranquility of death.

The cemetery was conceived in 1854 when it became clear that the first cemetery of Havana, Espada Cemetery, was insufficient for the needs of the growing population of Havana. The Royal Decree authorizing its construction was issued on 28 July 1866 and in November 1870 the basis for the tender for the construction of the cemetery were written. The architect Calixto Loire Cardoso won the competition, and became a director of works, besides was among the first to be buried in the cemetery, in Tobias Gallery.

The works were completed on July 2, 1886. Rectangular in shape and with 57 hectares, is the largest necropolis Cuban and Latin America. Experts say that the Colon Cemetery "was the most remarkable religious building in Havana in the nineteenth century." Precisely, the wrought iron gates of the cemetery, collect in three C (CCC) that honor to who called the island "The most beautiful land that human eyes have seen".

The most beautiful cemeteries belong to the wealthy families of the late nineteenth century and the first half of the XX, they are the greatest monuments, some of them almost scale models of the mansions of their owners. Here too is concentrated as much Carrara marble, slate and many of the most beautiful and delicate statues of the place.

Some of the most popular memorials Colon Cemetery: The tomb of the Miraculous, "La milagrosa"

This tomb has a very particular history, belongs to a young lady of high lineage, Amelia Goire de la Hoz who died on May 3, 1903, at 23 years of age. Amelia died giving birth to her daughter and was buried with her in his belly, but years later when opened the grave to bury his father-in-law, her body was found with her daughter in her arms. From the moment the news spread like wildfire and habaneros in his grave became the object of veneration, naming it "The Miracle".

Since then the people began to visit the grave, and even asking for miracles: protection for the children, a happy birth, a child for couples who can not conceive, a miracle cure, etc.. The tomb is attended by many people, and always have fresh flowers around besides you can see the votes of believers for promises made. This custom still survives.

The sculpture that adorns the tomb was made in 1914 by the Cuban sculptor José Vilalta Saavedra, the same artist who made the reliefs and sculptures of the famous cover of the necropolis. The statue sculpted in Carrara marble in natural size, represents a young woman with her eyes directed to the sky as a sign of faith, left arm around a newborn and the right leaning on a cross, symbol of sacrifice.

The monument to firefighters

Another highlight is the sculpture dedicated to a group of firefighters who died in service in 1890 in the fire of the hardware store Isasi. This funeral work of 10 meters high, was made by the Spanish artist Agustín Querol Subirats and represents the deceased with their actual faces. It is curious that in the absence of one picture the artist in a romantic gesture gave him his own appearance, as a tribute to the heroic death of these men.

Colon Cemetery, Havana, Cuba