‘Panteón Civil de Dolores cemetery, Mexico City’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited this Cemetary just two days after the annual celeberation there. This celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Roman Catholic  holidays of All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased with marigold flowers and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Two things stand out inrespect of this cemetery- (i) with 700,000 graves, many with multiple burials, it is perhaps the largest in South-Central America; and (ii) It has one of the largest range of graves with unusual designs and colours. And of course it is really neat and clean.

 It is the largest cemetery in Mexico and contains the “Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres” (Rotunda of Illustrious Persons). It is located on Constituyentes Avenue in Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City, between sections two and three of Chapultepec Park. The history of the cemetery goes back to 1870 when Juan Manuel Benfield, owner of El Rancho de Coscoacoaco (his wife was Concepción Gayosso y Mugarrieta sister of Eusebio Gayosso) set aside an area of his ranch measuring 240 square hectometres (590 acres), called La Tabla de Delores, on which to found a cemetery. In 1875, the cemetery was opened and named El Panteon Civil de Dolores. Juan Manuel Benfield founded the Cemetery in honor of his sister who died in Veracruz shortly after she had arrived from London with their parents.


 “Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres” decorated with flowers.


Tomb of Diego Rivera. He was was a prominent Mexican painter and husband of Frida Kahlo (a painter best known for her self-portraits). His large wall works in fresco helped establish theMexican Mural Movement in Mexican art.








 p1410825-mexiioco-300-50Tomb of Alfonso Reyes.


Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


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