Although graveyards are usually sad places in which death is present, this is still a site to be visited from the touristic point of view. There are many cemeteries around the world that attract tourists: in Paris, or the Recoleta in Argentina and this one in Cienfuegos city in Cuba.
This is about the Cementerio de la Reina (The Queens Graveyard). Such a royal name but it deserves it. This graveyard was inaugurated in 1839 as municipal cemetery three kilometers from the city. It was built to replace the old one built in 1819 and which was much deteriorated. Its oldest tombs belong to soldiers who died in the War of Independence.
The Reina Cemetery is unique due to a variety of reasons: people here were buried in the 19th century´s colonial style, in niches; there are many mortuary sculptures of great quality, beautiful fences and the traces of the yard and the wall are quite bright.
Many cemeteries have sculptures that are pieces of work and so are catalogued the ones in this Cuban graveyard close in quality to the one in Milan for example. The most striking piece of all is undoubtedly the Sleeping Beauty, made by an Italian artist which even has a legend on the young lady that lays dead for love at the beginning of the 20th century.
Many inhabitants of the city from 1840 to the current year lay here, in this National Monument. Unfortunately, for some time the cemetery was forgotten as patrimony and deteriorated a little. Many of the sculptures can be seen damaged or crumbled and some tombs flooded. It is sad, but it adds a mysterious touch to the place.