At the beginning of the 19th century, the first Argentinian president Bernardino Rivadavia commissioned the French architect Prospero Catelin to design a cemetery. The cemetery is located on an old monastery site and around the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Dutch: Our Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint of the city), a church built in 1732. The monastic order disappeared and in 1822 it became the first general cemetery in the country.
The place gives the impression of a real city with wide streets and narrow alleys. There are more than 6,000 graves and mausoleums on the 5.5-hectare site, of which dozens are protected as a national monument.
The cemetery includes:
Adolfo Bioy Casares, writer, journalist and translator
Hipólito Yrigoyen, president of Argentina between 1916 and 1922 and between 1928 and 1930
Juan Manuel de Rosas, politician, military leader and caudillo who led the Argentine Confederation from 1829 to 1852
Luis Federico Leloir, biochemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1970
Raúl Alfonsín, politician and president from 1983 to 1989
William Brown, admiral and founder of the Argentine navy