Panteón de Dolores

Not knowing what I was getting into, I agree to visited the Panteón de Dolores in Mexico City with my mother-in-law, Cristina. I wasn’t aware that panteón translates not just to “pantheon” but also to “mausoleum.”

Hence, we planned our afternoon visit to a massive park-like area full of mausoleums and vaults and tombs, as well as beautiful sculptures. Below are some of my favorites.

The vertical stone monument, which looks quite unassuming, actually marks the resting place of José Clemente Orozco, the famous Mexican muralist.

At the back of the PdD is the Rotonda de las Personajes Ilustres. Here lie the remains of important Mexican politicians, war heroes, artists, educators, and musicians, such as Clemente Orozco (above), Diego Rivera (below), and Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante” (more about him in my post about San Miguel de Allende).

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RIP, Diego Rivera. I didn’t actually believe this was meant to be him, since he was a rather large man, and this death mask/sculpture looks emaciated.

Despite my feeling a little uneasy in many cemeteries– probably due to getting horribly lost at the walled Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, where Eva Perón is– I felt comfortable at the Panteón. It’s more of a celebration of those who have gone before us, an homage to the important people who made Mexico what it is today. I expect that this less-grim attitude toward death and burials is related to the prominence of Day of the Dead, which I will be joyfully celebrating at the beginning of November.

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