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“Definetively a place to visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cementerio Santa Ifigenia

Cementerio Santa Ifigenia
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: This cementery houses tombs for such historic notables as José Marti and Emilio Bacardi including graves from those who fought for revolution.
Kingston, Jamaica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Definetively a place to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

Beautiful, serene, lovely artwork, friendly staff, and above all it is the final resting place of the majority of the notable historical figures in the history of Cuba.
The cemetery is constantly being renovated, and its beauty and history preserved.
There are guided tours, which I strongly recommend.

Visited October 2013
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Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Microcosm of Cuban history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

All sorts of people are buried here, from revolutionary heroes to popular musicians, from members of the super-rich Bacardi family tp ordinary Cubans. The mausoleum of Marti is here; revolutionary inspiration, national hero and poet, protected by a soviet style guard of honour. We shared our visit to the Marti mausoleum with a crocodile of Cuban schoolchildren, neatly attired in their uniforms and remarkably well-behaved - just a shy smile here and there and an occasional bold 'hello'. Crowding round the mausoleum they recited several of Marti's poems, and listened attentively o the explanations of their teacher.
The changing of the guard takes place with much ceremony each half hour - interestingly it was led by a woman soldier (not often seen in ceremonial duties in the UK!)
There is a charge for the use of cameras (5 CUC) Some hurricane damage is still visible.

Visited January 2014
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Vienna, Austria
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Interesting place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Huge cementry, where all of the famous revolutionits and other renowned persons such as Compay Segundo and the first owners of the Bacardi family are burried. There is also a reserved place for Fidel Castro.

Visited December 2013
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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Gorgeous cemetery full of interesting history and spectacle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

This cemetery was begun in 1868 and was the primary grave site for all the residents of this large and pretty city so it contains many beautiful memorials to all strata, although the poorer ones are buried unmarked against the fence. Among the most interesting memorials is the striking black pyramid of rum magnate, Egyptologist and secret freedom fighter, later mayor, Emilio Bacardi and his second wife, Elvira Cape. (The first is also buried here in a front corner) The cemetery also contains the memorial of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, who liberated his slaves in 1868 and suggested they join him in liberating the country. There is also the pink wall commemorating the martyrs of the failed insurgency of the 26th of July 1953. Some of the heroes of the revolution are also buried here and commemorated in various memorials as well as a pantheon. (We were told this is the place where Fidel wants to be buried too as it's the birthplace of the Revolution and far more accessible than his newly renovated family plot in distant Biran) Look too for the guitar shaped grave stone of Cuba's great musician, Jose "Pepe" Sanchez. Dominating the front of the cemetery is the light filled mausoleum of National Hero, Jose Marti, who died in 1895 and whose ashes were re-interred in this sandy coloured memorial in 1951. Marti was a man of many talents, both literary and political, and his political philosophy is said to have inspired Fidel, who has ensured that most military establishments became schools at the suggestion of Marti and most Cuban schools are marked by his image inside and out. Marti wrote, "Do not bury me in darkness / to die like a traitor / I am good, and as a good man / I will die facing the sun", and so you will see that Marti's urn is above ground and there are holes in the roof of the memorial to let in the sun. We were told too that when it rains in his home province there is a mechanism that streams a river across the floor of the monument. The crests of all the provinces of Cuba are carved in the interior of the monument and all the free countries of the western world are also represented. (Canadians don't look for our crest, we were considered a colony or dominion still tied to Britain's apron strings) Fresh flowers are constantly kept in a vase in front of the hexagonal urn containing his ashes. The monument is guarded day and night and during daylight hours the guard is changed every half hour with the full pomp and ceremony of piped in music and young male and female soldiers goose stepping Soviet style. Whether the history of the place and the people appeals or not, this is a beautiful spot to wander and photograph although it's a hot hillside so bring on the hats and sun screen. (Just remember it cost 5 pesos for the privilege of using your camera.)

Visited December 2013
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Wroclaw, Poland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

This cementery is a little bit further away from the city center but definitely worth the trip there. It is a bit more interesting than the one in Havana. Make sure you are there at about 12.30 pm so you can see how the guards at the Jose Marti mausoleum are changing.

Visited December 2013
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