Yesterday was a pretty boring day, we registered our visas with the PDI to get official papers that we need to register with the police to get our identification cards. Yeay bureaucracy! Then we had lunch and enjoyed a one on one advising session with a professor at Universidad de Chile. There’s a really interesting class I might take there called “Science and Religion: Thanks to God we are Atheists”. Also I took this picture of me with some mounted caballeros (police officers).
Today was a bit more interesting. Some friends and I went on an adventure to the Cemeterio General, a huge cemetery in the north of the city that houses the mortal remains of common folk as well as some extremely famous Chilean heroes. It is one of the largest burial places in Latin America with around 2 million burials, established in 1820. It is the final resting place for all but 2 of Chile’s presidents and also features a huge monument to the victims of Pinochet’s regime.
Burial options include wall niches in child and adult sizes (available for 5 to 10 years, after which the remains are moved to a family ossuary) or family crypts or mausoleums. The crypts have a single large gravestone above and then stairs that lead down to bookshelf-like niches for interments. Sometimes the stairs have a metal gate at the bottom and sometimes they are simply covered with a stone slab. The mausoleums are very elaborate, almost all have a stained glass image on the back wall, and inside there are faux or real flowers, small statues, and a variety of personal effects for the deceased.
Enjoy my fancy slideshow below that I spent ages getting the coding right for, from now on I will be able to host my images on flickr and integrate them in this way instead of the clunky WordPress slideshow widget.
For best results, click the full screen button in the bottom right corner. Then at the top of the screen there is a “show info” link that will display the image name and description for you. Most of the plaques have been translated for you in the descriptions. De nada!