A Bison Abroad | A Whole New Culture in Recoleta

PAIGE HALL | THE SPECTRUM
Flores Génerica, a metal flower sculpture, is a popular tourist spot.

If you ever have an opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, do not leave without going to Recoleta. There are many opportunities to see areas that are different than the United States culture.

Within the suburban limits, you can find the most prestigious cemetery in South America. This cemetery is nothing like what you would find in the United States. First of all, there is no grass, and it isn’t on the outskirts of town. It is in the dead center. Marble, cement and granite fill up the space enclosed in the walls of the graveyard. Thousands of feet below you is history: tombs of very wealthy and prestigious Argentines and their families.

It started as a cemetery for any person who died and owned a spot, but as the area began to fill and population grew, families with less money were bought out of their own gravesites and moved somewhere else.

Imagine having to be moved from your eternal resting place below thousands of meters of heavy marble, where your family name is engraved into the stones, all because your great-great-great-great-grandson wasn’t a king, queen, dictator or someone in power to afford your tomb. The family must pay rent for the spot every month, and that rent is passed on to the kids every generation.

Every weekend, just outside of the cemetery, you will find the Plaza de Francia Market. The market is filled with all sorts of handmade creations. It is the best market I have seen since coming to Buenos Aires. Whether you want Mafalda, the country’s most famous comic character, travel souvenirs or artwork, this market has it all.

Next to the cemetery and Recoleta Market is the cultural center. There are shows every weekend, ranging in a variety of topics, or you can walk around the center and learn about the pop culture of Buenos Aires. I recommend taking pictures while there as well. The building has phenomenal architecture.

Because it’s not too far away, I recommend walking over the pedestrian bridge to the building that looks like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., except there isn’t a president sitting in a giant chair. At this site is one of the buildings that is part of the University of Buenos Aires, which has over 300,000 students. In the park nearby is the Floris Génerica, an enormous metal sculpture of a flower surrounded by a fountain. On a clear day, it is a perfect spot to sit, relax and enjoy the beauty of nature and creation. There is a great view of the city skyline on both sides, and yet it is a very peaceful area.

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