Among the famous graves in Buenos Aires’s great Recoleta Cemetery is one unusual tomb that stands out from its neighbors, looking more like a natural cave than a grave. Carlos Guido Spano, an acclaimed Argentinean poet, built this tomb for his father, General Tomás Guido.
General Guido was a close friend of famed General José de San Martín, and had served with him during the War of Independence. Together they crossed the Cordillera de los Andes, an extremely perilous quest, and were able to combat the Spanish armies and help free Chile and Perú.
When he returned, General Tomás Guido served as a diplomat in Argentina. He requested to be buried under the mountains that his troops had crossed with great sacrifice to liberate their neighbor countries. His son, Carlos, fulfilled his wishes. The younger Guido had all the rocks for the tomb brought from the Cordillera de los Andes and built the vault with his own hands.
Carlos gave the tomb the form of a simple grotto, decorated with marbles, sculptures, and tainted glass, contrasting greatly with the surrounding grave sites around it. Carlos also dedicated a poem to the memory of his father, inscribed on a bronze plaque on the side of the tomb. Upon his own death in 1918, he was also interred at Recoleta Cemetery.
In 1966, General Guido’s remains were moved to the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, and he rests next to his great friend and general, José de San Martín. The son, Carlos, still lies at the original tomb.