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Eternal Rest

   
 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Jorge González
Punta Arenas Cemetery

The cemetery of Punta Arenas tells the story of the city in silence. Its mausolea and the quiet park give shape to one of the most visited spots in the urban tour.

It is said that in order to really get to know a city, visitors should tour around the surroundings of its main square, enter its churches and temples and visit its cemetery. The Punta Arenas cemetery lies at the entrance of the city and, in addition to having a singular architectural value, it keeps the remains of pioneers and of the main families that gave origin to the entire population of the region.

Founded in 1894, the present cemetery replaced its predecessor, which used to be located where José de los Santos Mardones Square stands today.
Punta Arenas Cemetery
As part of the urban heritage, it was built in a venue granted by the Government. In 1919, engineer Fortunato Circutti was in charge of building the magnificent portico and the perimeter walls donated by pioneer Sara Braun and named after her. On the other hand, artist Pascual Borich sculpted the crowns and other decoration details that make up the façade.

    
In the Quietness of the Park
    
An exquisitely kept park is the place chosen by visitors to behold. European cypresses grow on the avenues granting an English touch to these open spaces. The inner paths lead to tombs and mausolea, some of them ornamented with various styles and marble and brass terminations and sculptures of forged iron.
Punta Arenas Cemetery
The chapels built during the first three decades of the XXth century, which belong to the most important families in the region, lodge the remains of the Menéndez-Behetys, the Braun Hamburgers, the Blanchards, the Kusanovics, the Menéndez-Montes and Sara Braun.

Likewise, various institutions also have their own buildings, such as the mutualist societies, the foreign colonies and the Salesian order, whose chapel was designed in 1902 by father Juan Bernabé.
Punta Arenas Cemetery
Useful Data
Recommendations
Far from prejudice and superstition, the cemetery is a historical place very much visited by travelers. You will not regret touring around it.
 
 
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Characteristics
Level of Difficulty
low.
Duration
2 hours.
Tour Kind
contemplative.
Useful Data Useful Data



Location



The Detail

Doña Sara Braun died in Viña del Mar in 1955. According to the villagers, when the city’s benefactor donated the portico, she expressed her wish to be the only one to cross that entrance, which would later be sealed. Whether true or not, when she died, Sara Braun's remains entered the cemetery through the main gate that leads into the chapel, which is the central body of the portico. That gate has not been used ever since and, due to the effects of the passing of time, the corrosion of the iron works ended up turning it useless. Maybe it was the last wish granted to noble Mrs. Braun by her southern lands.


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