Old San Juan Cemetery

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Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis is simply known to Puerto Ricans as “el cementerio del Viejo San Juan” (The Old San Juan Cemetery).

The construction of Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis started in 1863 during the Spanish colonial period.  Before that the colonial cemetery was at the corner of San Francisco and San José Streets, where the present Department of State is located.

Being buried at Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis is a distinction in itself. Many famous Puerto Ricans have made it there final resting place, including:

  • Jose Celso Barbosa, founder of the Puerto Rican statehood movement
  • Antonio R. Barceló, lawyer, businessman and politician
  • Salvador Brau, journalist, poet and historian
  • Pedro Albizu Campos, nationalist leader and politician
  • Tite Curet Alonso, composer
  • José Julián Acosta, abolitionist, journalist
  • Ricardo Alegría, father of modern Puerto Rican archaeology
  • Norma Candal, actress
  • José de Diego, poet, lawyer and liberal politician
  • José Ferrer, Academy Award-winning actor and director
  • Pedro Flores, composer
  • José Gautier Benítez, poet
  • Rafael Hernández, composer and musician
  • Gilberto Concepción de Gracia, politician, founder of the Puerto Rican Independence Party
  • Tony Croatto, Italian-Puerto Rican folk singer, composer and television presenter
  • Conchita Dapena, first wife of Governor Roberto Sánchez Vilella
  • Santiago Iglesias, former Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
  • Tito Lara, composer and musician
  • Félix Bénitez Rexach, Engineer
  • Pedro Salinas, Spanish poet
  • Miguel Ángel Suárez, actor
  • Rafael Tufiño, painter and graphic artist
  • Lolita Lebrón, nationalist leader
  • Muna Lee, American writer and first wife of Luis Muñoz Marín
  • Gilberto Monroig, singer
  • Samuel R. Quiñones, politician, founder of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party

However, like many other capitals around the world, Puerto Rico has its share of crime.  On the other hand, cemeteries —by there own nature— are typically lonely places. So be extra careful if you venture to visit it on your own.

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