Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Colon Cemetery, Havana, Cuba (Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón)

The Colon Cemetery began in 1876 by the Spanish architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardosa, who was also the first burial (he died before the cemetery was completed).  The cemetery has over 500 mausoleums, chapels and family vaults, and covers 140 acres.  There are over 800,000 graves at the Colon Cemetery.  After three years remains are removed from tombs and placed in an ossuary building.  This is a practice common in Spain, and brought over to Cuba by the Spanish settlers.  You can see a list of famous Cubans interred here at the Colon Cemetery at the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colon_Cemetery,_Havana  

This is the monument to the firefighters lost in a conflagration on 17 May 1890 in Havana.  It is a marble obelisk over 75 feet high and is decorated with wrought iron bats on the fencing.

These images were photographed by my daughter, who visited Cuba in June 2015.

You might think that doing research in Communist Cuba is impossible.  Believe it or not, many graves at Colon Cemetery are recorded at Find A Grave.  See this link to search or browse the cemetery (339 interments were recorded as of March 2016, with 18 photo requests) http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=639615

An article about Colon Cemetery  http://www.cubaheritage.org/articles.asp?artID=358

See a video of the cemetery at YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9hEnvh8OMk   (you can see the firefighters monument at about 45 seconds into the video)

Photographs by Catalina Rojo Ianetta

Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Catalina Rojo Ianetta, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Colon Cemetery, Havana, Cuba  (Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón)", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 29, 2016, (  http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/03/tombstone-tuesday-colon-cemetery-havana.html: accessed [access date]). 

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