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San Andres de Giles, Argentina

Abandoned Cemetery of San Andres de Giles

Crumbling crypts and overgrown graves rise just out of arm's reach in this forgotten Buenos Aires graveyard. 

Peeking out from a plot of land gone feral and dotted with wildflowers, there is a crop of crypts rising up, just behind the San Andres de Giles’ Aero Club. Here, the town’s forefathers who lost their lives to pestilence have lain for nearly a century and a half, their story all but forgotten.  

Completed in 1873, the South Cemetery (as some call it) was established to handle an exponential increase in deaths associated with successive outbreaks of yellow fever and cholera from the years 1869 and 1871. Prior to its creation, the town had had no collective cemetery in which to inter its deceased; in the face of such epidemics, San Andres de Giles’ bodies began stacking up too quickly for the old ways to prevail. Within the decade, however, the tide of doom receded, leaving this particular cemetery unneeded. 

Since that day, the cemetery has been abandoned, with no one to tend its graves after the first generation of descendants passed away. During the interim, the surrounding field fell into disrepair, and reseeded itself with an eerie crop of wildflowers that rise fresh among the dead each year. That said, recent reports tell of weeding and a modicum of maintenance arriving at the abandoned cemetery in recent years.

Nonetheless, San Andres de Giles’ lonely, nameless dead are best visited from afar due to a perimeter fence (which would require hopping) keeping visitors — well-intentioned and otherwise — at a distance of a few feet from the remaining crypts.  

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