Video of Colon Cemetery, Havana, a Sea of White Marble

The Colon Cemetery, Havana (Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón) in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana was built in 1876. It now has hundreds of mausoleums, chapels, statues dedicated to important citizens of Havana. It also has common graves, children, deaths from epidemics, etc. Over 140 acres of history, all laid out along streets  according to social status of the deceased. The rich and or famous are along the main streets, the others further out.

See video of Colon Cemetery, Havana, below

Colon Cemetery is one of the most historically and architecturally famous cemeteries of the world, and the second most important in Latin America, second only to La Recoleta in Buenos Aires.

Entry to Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón
Entry to Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón

An impressive entry to an impressive cemetery.

Main avenue into Colon Cemetery
Main avenue into cemetery

Entry fee to the Colon Cemetery is 1 CUC.   Be prepared to walk, the cemetery is huge. Also there is little shade available. Guides will walk along with groups and give tours. Walking through this cemetery is like walking through history when the guide talks about all the monuments to people and events.

Colon Cemetery, Havana, has thousands of gravesites
800,00 grave sites here

The flat slabs of gleaming marble are blinding in the mid day tropical sun. In the hour I was there, I did not do much more than walk the main streets.

monuments and mausoleums in Colon Cemetery
Monuments, chapels, mausoleums line the main street
mausoleums Colon Cemetery, Havana
The biggest mausoleums line the central avenues

There are over 500 mausoleums, family crypts, statues. All are works of art.

Colon Cemetery, Havana, marble statues
Gorgeous carved marble statues, many copied from masterpieces
graves Colon Cemetery, Havana
An overwhelming number of carved headstones, from old to recent
Grave of Amelia Goyri, "La Milagrosa"
Amelia Goyri, known as “La Milagrosa” died of childbirth, buried with her son

This grave is the one spot where fresh flowers are always on display. In the 5 minutes I was there I saw three different people visit and pray.

Amelia Goyri, known as “La Milagrosa”, died during childbirth as did her new born son on May 3, 1903, at the age of 23. Mother and son were buried at this site. The body was later exhumed and the boys body was found in the mother’s arms, instead of being next to her where he was placed after death. The grave was re-sealed and became a shrine. The mother’s love for her baby is an inspiration to masses of admirers.

Shrine to La Millagrosa, Cemetery Colon, Havana
Her grave site has become a shrine and is adorned daily with fresh flowers by worshipers

Colon Cemetery, Havana is now the burial place of 800,000 people and is still in use today.  According to local guide, the cemetery is so popular that unless special arrangements are made, after three years the remains are exhumed and boxed for storage so that others may be buried.