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27 September 2012 / leggypeggy

Most unusual cemetery ever—and there are more

Baños cemetery

Village within a cemetery

A cemetery is a cemetery is a cemetery! Right? Wrong! In Ecuador it seems a cemetery is a proper community.

The other day, Poor John and I, along with fellow traveller Jong, wandered around the town of Baños in the Andean highlands.

We tried to get much closer to the local active volcano, but the clouds closed in and the road petered out, so we headed back to the centre of town.

On the way up, Jong had popped into a cemetery on a corner. He said it was quite beautiful and certainly worth a look. So in we went on the way down.

Wow, what a surprise! It’s like a miniature village, with graves and mausoleums butting up to the edges on both sides of paved roads. Some mausoleums look like small houses and the road is lined with mauve bins, just like a city street.

Baños cemetery

Family mausoleum in Baños cemetery

It seems to be all about family and groups here. Family names adorn most mausoleums, there’s lots of art, flowers and photographs. Some huge structures seem to be for members-only of certain organisations.

Perhaps this colourful and ornate ‘community’—united in death—is quite lively when nobody is looking.

I told Sammy, our guide, about the cemetery when we returned to camp. She says they are common in South America. The really big one is the Recolata Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ll keep you posted.

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Leave a Comment
  1. leslieandwayne / Sep 27 2012 10:20 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing! It really does look like a street in a village 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Sep 27 2012 10:48 pm

      I couldn’t get over it when we first walked in. Can’t wait to see more.


    • Renae / Oct 4 2012 8:49 pm

      Recolata is fabulous. You will really enjoy it.


      • leggypeggy / Oct 4 2012 9:49 pm

        Thanks Renae. I’ll make sure my camera battery is charged.


  2. Potsie / Oct 5 2012 4:21 pm

    The next time you and PJ visit Dallas I have a cemetery about ten minutes away you will love to visit. It is a circa 1860s slave cemetery. It’s in the middle of very valuable acreage and real estate developers have tried for many years to have it annexed but it is protected as a historical landmark.


    • leggypeggy / Oct 5 2012 10:47 pm

      Thanks Pots, it’s on our list now. So glad the historical powers have saved it.


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