The term cemetery tourism may sound strange to many people. After all, funeral subjects and places are not usually the subject of vacation trips or city tours. However, the observation and visitation of cemeteries is much more common than can be reflected in the popular imagination.
Some examples are the historic Parisian necropolis Père-Lachaise, considered one of the most pop cemeteries in the world. The site has about two million tourist visits every year. There you can see references to tomb architecture, part of French history and visit famous tombs like that of singer Jim Morrison or writer Oscar Wilde. In Latin America, La Recoleta, located in the homonymous neighborhood of Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, is one of the most visited tourist cemeteries in the country. Full of sumptuous works of art, it has distinguished burials, such as the iconic Argentine first lady Evita Perón.
And speaking of Brazil, many of our cemeteries do not leave these famous necropolises in any artistic aspect. In addition to the high architectural and artistic quality, many of these spaces show us the history of these cities and states right before our eyes.
Some of these cemeteries already have guided tours to guide visitors, researchers and historians interested in this legacy so rich in regional narratives, arts, information, curiosities and biographies. Check out!
St. John the Baptist
In service since 1852, the São João Batista Cemetery is also known as the “famous cemetery”. In its 192 thousand square meters it gathers beautiful tombs and artistic mausoleums turned to the catholic sacred culture.
Among its 35 thousand buried are great personalities of national history such as Carmen Miranda, Cazuza, Nara Leão, Santos Dumont, Cecília Meireles, Tom Jobim, Cândido Portinari, Zuzu Angel and other personalities such as singers, writers, actors and nobles, scientists and politicians . In 2015, it was the first cemetery in Latin America to gain its virtual map and receive visits online through Google Street View.
Address: Rua General Polidoro, S / N, Botafogo. Rio de Janeiro - RJ.
Phone: (21) 3217-3182
The São Pedro de Alcântara Cathedral began to be built in 1884 to replace the modest Petrópolis mother church at the request of D. Pedro II and his daughter, Princess Isabel.
Its neo-Gothic project was conceived by the Bahian architect and engineer Francisco Caminhoá, following the molds of the main European cathedrals, and its conclusion was only completed in mid-1969, after the Proclamation of the Republic.
Currently there are the remains of Emperor D. Pedro II and Imperatriz Dona Tereza Cristina (brought from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1921) and also of Princess Isabel and her husband, Conde D'eu (buried there in 1971), forming the Imperial Mausoleum.
Address: Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 60, Petrópolis - RJ
Phone: (24) 2242-4300
JK Memorial - Brasilia
Memorial JK is not a conventional cemetery in the Federal District (as in the case of Campo da Esperança, where the flow of burials and tributes with wreath in Brasilia is intense).
In this masterpiece designed by Oscar Niemeyer are the remains of President Juscelino Kubitschek, creator of the new Brazilian capital - and one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of the 20th century.
Inaugurated on September 12, 1981, the memorial houses not only the official tomb of JK, but a complete museum dedicated to him and his family's history through a beautiful photographic collection, furniture and personal objects of a man in front of his time. Its curatorship and interior have a very striking presentation, obeying the modern and timeless artistic protocol at the height of the Plano Piloto.
Address: Praça do Cruzeiro, Eixo Monumental - Brasília -DF
Phone: (61) 3225-9451
Considered a true open-air museum, the Consolação Cemetery is one of the necropolises that resemble the luxurious European cemeteries. In operation since 1858, it was listed by the Historical Defense Council of the State of São Paulo and houses a cultural visitation project maintained by the Memory and Life Program.
There are some of the greatest works of world tomb art, with sculptures and cemetery architecture projects commissioned by the greatest national and international artists of the time. This was the demand of the wealthy São Paulo families of the 19th and 20th centuries, portraying the great economic development of the period.
Among the historical figures and personalities buried in the Consolação Cemetery are Marquesa de Santos (benefactor of the construction of the chapel), Tarsila do Amaral, Mário de Andrade, Emílio Ribas, Cândido Fontoura, the first lady Ruth Cardoso among many other artists, industrialists, like the Matarazzo, politicians and nobles.
Campo Santo Cemetery - Salvador
Being the only cemetery in Salvador between 1840 and 1856, the Campo Santo Cemetery is the oldest in the city and tells part of the important history of the region, as it is full of tomb works of art that accompany historical passages.
Its construction marked the end of church burials, a sanitary movement common to the inauguration of most of the first Brazilian public cemeteries, but initially revolted the Salvadorans who did not want to remove the bodies of their loved ones from the sacred soil around the cathedrals. Its main gate and part of the cathedral were destroyed by the population in the episode that became known as "Cemiterada".
Administered by Santa Casa de Misericórdia da Bahia since 1840, the necropolis preserves its historical features combined with a new modern wing, designed with advanced environmental technologies and futuristic design.
Address: Largo do Campo Santo, s / n. Salvador BA
Phone: (71) 2203-9777