A Place for the Living and the Dead – Colón Cemetery in Havana
Cemeteries are popular sights sometimes in cities like Paris, they are also used for a Sunday picnic or just a walk.
In Havana, the cemetery Coloón is also a tourist attraction and that’s more than justified. Although it doesn’t have Jim Morrisons grave it is a really interesting place to visit.
The Cementerio Colon is located in the Vedado neighborhood and was built in 1870 and still is one of the biggest cemeteries in the world. Havana’ population grew fast in the 19th century. And cholera spread among the city the existing churches and cemeteries had not enough space for all the bodies. So they built a new one which now is about 56 ha big and counts about 800.000 graves. The thumbs are decorated with ornaments and statues made by famous artists and there are several mausoleums telling their own stories.
Famous Cubans are buried here and as the place is so huge is has its own system of streets like a small city.
You have the chance to visit the graves of famous people from Cuban history and culture like Ibrahim Ferrer.
It’s worth to plan a lot of time for the visit and discover the artistic thumbs and stories behind them.
Be aware that for tourists the cemetery is considered a museum and the entrance is 5CUC. Residents and Cubans do not have to pay.
Plan your visit in the morning or in the late afternoon. The sun can get tricky and there is not much shade to hide from it.