Cementerio Cristobal Colón was built from 1871-1886. Spanish architect Calixto de Loira based the design on a Roman military camp. The cemetery is a final resting place for many notable people in Cuban history and culture such as Alejo Carpentier who was novelist and one of the first writers of magical realism, and Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club.
I spent an entire afternoon wandering through 140 acres of the mausoleums and family vaults, many of which looked like ornate castles to the dead. Many may find cemeteries a bit spooky and macabre, but it is a relaxing place for those who want to go on a quiet stroll. Here you will find that the graves are designed in a wide range of styles, such as neoclassical, Art Deco and baroque. My favorite details from the cemetery are the facial expressions and gestures of the statues. Maybe you’ll get inspired to design your own home for the afterlife.
Entrance is 5 CUC, and the security guards are friendly and helpful if you get lost. The cemetery is located between Calle Zapata and Calle 12, and is open everyday between 8AM-5PM.