Known as the Presbitero Matias Maestro, the General Cemetery of Lima is considered the first municipal cemetery of Latin America. It was built between 1805 and 1808 in the city’s boundaries and nowadays it’s a neoclassic architecture site where you can appreciate the largest collection of European XIX century marble sculptures of Latin America, which decorate luxurious mausoleums of important Peruvian personages. Here lies the mortal remains of Jose de la Riva Agüero, Ricardo Palma, Abraham Valdelomar, Jose Carlos Mariategui, Ramon Castilla and Francisco Bolognesi to name a few. You will get a better understanding of Lima idiosyncrasy walking through the wide avenues and streets of this cemetery.
Photography by Arquitectura Lima Republicana
Built on the 17th Ancash Street in Barrios Altos (Cercado de Lima), an old street provided by Francisco Pizarro in Lima’s foundation in 1535. The person in charge of this necropolis was Matias Maestro, an architect, sculptor and painter. Viceroy Jose Fernando de Abascal inaugurated the Presbitero Maestro cemetery on May 31, 1808. However, there was a great opposition from the public; because people used to bury their dead into catacombs in churchyards.
Photography by Cripta de los Héroes
Visiting the Presbitero Maestro
This year the Presbitero Maestro Cemetery Museum celebrated its 206° anniversary, opening its doors to travelers interested in visiting its mausoleums and tombs as part of a tour. Lima Metropolitan Welfare Societyis the entity that organizes these tours, which were created to show the cemetery’s architectural jewels, stories and mysteries located throughout its 20 hectares, and almost 800 tombs and 250 thousand nichos (deep recesses used as tombs).
Photography by Histo Lima
Night tours are from Thursday to Saturday and start at 7pm, and includes the transfer ride, guide service and the entry to the Heroes Crypt. The circuit considers sightseeing the tombs of presidents of Peru, writers, physicians of Peru, military heroes, important Peruvian personages and criollo music composers.
If you would like to visit the Presbitero Maestro Cemetery Museum, click here:or call at: 478-4299 or 328-0241. You can also buy tickets in 228 Puno Street from Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm – 2 pm to 4:30 pm. Tickets are priced at S/. 20 ($ 7.15) for adults and S/ 10 ($ 3.5) for children.
Photography by Tititrek
We recommend attending “Don Juan Tenorio” play that will take place there from 29th October to 9th November. This production, which has been performed for eleven consecutive years, is composed of three acts and three different stages such as beautiful marble tombs, solemn mausoleums and impressive sculptures from this cemetery.
Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco will be your best accommodation choice if you consider visiting Lima, book here and visit the Presbitero Maestro Cemetery Museum, a one of a kind cemetery in Latin America.