Thursday, 27 December 2007
Dying in Valparaiso: El Cementerio de Disidentes
As i recently turned 30, i've been thinking quite a lot about death. So i decided to head up to the Valparaiso cemeteries to see if i could find a plot. Now, you're not really supposed to take photos -there are signs up stating that as you walk in...but i ignored them and took dozens. A few are below and i'll be posting more as time goes by.
I started off in the Cementerio de Disidentes, the charming name the local Catholics gave anyone who didn't want to feel guilty their entire lives. The cemetery is typical of protestant cemeteries the world over: understated and generally quite pretty-nothing spectacular. The interesting part is really the tombstones and the names on them...the graveyard is full of British and Germans, showing the influence that these two nationalities had on Valparaiso back in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Of course, the German headstones are far more elaborate and pretty than the British ones. This was the same in the German and British Cemeteries in Chacarita in Buenos Aires. Maybe the Lutherans like a bit more pomp in their death?
Anyway, here are some of the many photos I took today. Look at the names and dates...some of the families are still around today with the same surnames which means they haven't had to mingle too much with the natives...
I also made it Cementerio Numero 1 and Numero 2. They're all joined so it wasn't too much of an effort. I'll post about those at some point soon as well.
This is the tomb to the lost seamen of the HMS Arequipa, a ship that foundered in Valparaiso Bay on June 2nd, 1902
And finally...what would a cemetery be without a load of cute kittens...