Valparaíso – Cerro Panteón – a visit to Cementerio N°1

My friends in the protestant UK look at me a little strangely when I say I like going to cemeteries in South America. At home in Yorkshire they are associated with lovers of Goth music, which I do actually like a little, but really for me it’s about the beautiful art and sculpture that can be found in the older graveyards. See for example my posts on Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires and Cementerio Central in Montevideo.

Dusk was falling as I arrived and the cemetery was due to close, but the friendly attendant was open to a bit of bribery and gave me an hour to look around.

Please click on the gallery photos for the best view.

At the beginning of the 19th century the people of Valparaíso used to bury the dead by leaving them on the tops of hills or letting them wash away in the ocean. These unsanitary practices caused a public health crisis and led to Cementerio N°1 being built in 1825.

Opposite Cementerio N°1 is the Art Deco entrance to Cementerio Disidentes (for non-Catholics, in particular British Protestants) and at the opposite end of the block is the gate for Cementerio N°2 (created in 1848), both of which I saved for next time. Streetview here.

It’s all on my map. From here it might be advisable to get an Uber to your next destination if it’s getting late or instead walk down the extremely steep alleys down to the bar street Avenida Ecuador where there’s a great little restaurant called El Pimentón (post here).

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