Colon Cemetery, Havana
The Colon Cemetery or more fully in the Spanish language
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón was founded in 1876 in the Vedado
Vedado is the downtown and a vibrant neighboorhood in the city of Havana, Cuba. Bordered on the east by Central Havana, and on the west by the Miramar/Playa district. The main street running east to west is Calle 23, also known as 'La Rampa'...

 neighbourhood of Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 on top of Espada Cemetery
Espada Cemetery
The Espada Cemetery is a disused cemetery located approximately a mile west of the city of Havana, Cuba, near to the coast and close to the San Lázaro Leper Hospital...

. Named for Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

, the 140 acre (57 ha) cemetery is noted for its many elaborately sculpted memorials. It is estimated that today the cemetery has more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults.

Colon Cemetery has a 75 feet (22.9 m)-high monument to the firefighter
Firefighters are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations...

s who lost their lives in the great fire of May 17, 1890. As baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 is a leading sport in Cuba, the cemetery has two monuments to baseball players from the Cuban League
Cuban League
The Cuban League was one of the earliest and longest lasting professional baseball leagues outside of the United States, operating in Cuba from 1878 to 1961...

. The first was erected in 1942 and the second in 1951 for members of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame
Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame
The Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame is a hall of fame that honors eminent baseball players from the pre-revolution Cuban League. Established in 1939, by 1961 it had honored 68 players whose names are shown on a marble plaque at Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano...


In February 1898, the recovered bodies of sailors who died on the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 battleship Maine
USS Maine (ACR-1)
USS Maine was the United States Navy's second commissioned pre-dreadnought battleship, although she was originally classified as an armored cruiser. She is best known for her catastrophic loss in Havana harbor. Maine had been sent to Havana, Cuba to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt...

were interred in the Colon Cemetery. In December 1899 the bodies were disinterred and brought back to the United States for burial at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...


With more than 800,000 graves and 1 million interments, space in the Colon Cemetery is currently at a premium and as such after three years remains are removed from their tombs, boxed and placed in a storage building.

Notable interments

  • Santiago Álvarez
    Santiago Álvarez
    Santiago Álvarez Román was a Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed many documentaries about Cuban and American culture...

     (1919–1998), filmmaker
  • Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt
    Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt
    Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt was a Cuban Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Havana from 1941 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.-Biography:...

    , Roman Catholic Cardinal
  • Beatriz Azurduy Palacios
    Beatriz Azurduy Palacios
    Beatriz Azurduy-Palacios was a Bolivian motion picture director. She was married and worked with Jorge Sanjinés for over 28 years....

     (1952–2003), filmmaker
  • Hubert de Blanck
    Hubert de Blanck
    Hubertus Christiaan de Blanck was a Dutch-born professor, pianist, and composer who spent the better part of his life in Cuba....

     (1856–1932), composer
  • José Raúl Capablanca
    José Raúl Capablanca
    José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. One of the greatest players of all time, he was renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play...

     (1888–1942), world chess champion
  • Federico Capdevila (?-1898), Lieutenant Colonel of Spanish Army who defended the cuban students of Medicine in 1871
  • Alejo Carpentier
    Alejo Carpentier
    Alejo Carpentier y Valmont was a Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous "boom" period. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Carpentier grew up in Havana, Cuba; and despite his European birthplace, Carpentier strongly self-identified...

     (1904–1980), novelist
  • Eduardo Chibás
    Eduardo Chibás
    Eduardo René Chibás Ribas was a Cuban politician who used radio to broadcast his political views to the public. He primarily denounced corruption and gangsterism rampant during the governments of Ramón Grau and Carlos Prío which preceded the Batista era...

     (1907–1951), politician
  • Juan Chabás
    Juan Chabás
    Juan Chabás was a Spanish-born poet and writer. He was a member of the influential group of writers known as the Generation of '27...

     (1910–1954), author
  • Ibrahim Ferrer
    Ibrahim Ferrer
    Ibrahim Ferrer was a popular Afro-Cuban singer and musician in Cuba. He performed with many musical groups including the Conjunto Sorpresa, Orquesta Chepin-Choven and Afro-Cuban All Stars...

     (1927–2005), musician
  • Candelaria Figueredo
    Candelaria Figueredo
    Candelaria Figueredo was a Cuban patriot who fought in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain.-Life:...

     (1852–1914), patriot in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain
  • José Miguel Gómez
    José Miguel Gómez
    José Miguel Gómez y Gómez was a Cuban General in the Cuban War of Independence who went on to become President of Cuba.-Early career:...

     (1858–1921), president of Cuba
  • Máximo Gómez
    Máximo Gómez
    Máximo Gómez y Báez was a Major General in the Ten Years' War and Cuba's military commander in that country's War of Independence ....

     (1836–1905), Dominican
    Dominican Republic
    The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

     military hero
  • Ruben Gonzalez (1919–2003), Cuban Pianist from Buena Vista Social Club
  • Nicolás Guillén
    Nicolás Guillén
    Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista was a Cuban poet, journalist, political activist, and writer. He is best remembered as the national poet of Cuba.Guillén was born in Camagüey, Cuba...

     (1902–1989), poet
  • Nicolás Guillén Landrián
    Nicolás Guillén Landrián
    Nicolás Guillén Landrián was a Cuban experimental filmmaker and painter.Guillén was an accomplished filmmaker. He made a total of 13 documentaries, although they were heavily censored and prevented from being part of the Cuban Film Industry...

     (1938–2003), Filmmaker and painter
  • Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
    Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
    Tomás Gutiérrez Alea was a Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed more than 20 features, documentaries, and short films, which are known for his sharp insight into post-Revolutionary Cuba, and possess a delicate balance between dedication to the revolution and criticism of the social, economic,...

     (1928–1996), filmmaker
  • Harrison E. Havens
    Harrison E. Havens
    Harrison Eugene Havens was an American lawyer and politician. He was born in Franklin County, Ohio and was the Republican Party Representative from Missouri for the 4th District in the 42nd United States Congress between 1871 and 1873, and for the 6th District in the 43rd United States Congress...

     (1837–1916), United States Congressman
  • Alberto Korda
    Alberto Korda
    Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda or simply Korda was a Cuban photographer, remembered for his famous image Guerrillero Heroico of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.-Early life:Korda, whose real name was Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, was born on 14 September 1928 in...

     (1928–2001), photographer
  • José Lezama Lima
    José Lezama Lima
    José Lezama Lima was a Cuban writer and poet who is considered one of the most influential figures in Latin American literature....

     (1910–1976), writer, poet
  • Dulce María Loynaz
    Dulce María Loynaz
    Daughter of the famous General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo, a hero of the Cuban Liberation Army and author of Cuban National Anthem lyrics; and sister of poet Enrique Loynaz Muñoz...

     (1902–1997), poet, novelist
  • Dolf Luque
    Dolf Luque
    Adolfo Domingo De Guzmán "Dolf" Luque , was an early 20th century Cuban starting pitcher in Major League Baseball.Luque was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1967....

     (1890–1957), Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

     starting pitcher
  • Mary McCarthy Gomez Cueto
    Mary McCarthy Gomez Cueto
    Mary McCarthy Gomez Cueto was the widow of a wealthy Cuban businessman who died in poverty, unwilling to leave the island and unable to access her funds because of the US embargo on trade with Cuba...

     (1900–2009), Havana socialite and musician
  • Armando Marsans
    Armando Marsans
    Armando Marsans was a Major League Baseball outfielder from 1911 to 1918. He played in three different major leagues in his career: with the Cincinnati Reds in the National League , with the St. Louis Terriers in the Federal League , and with the St...

     (1887–1960) Major League Baseball outfielder
  • William Alexander Morgan
    William Alexander Morgan
    William Alexander Morgan was a United States citizen who fought in the Cuban Revolution. He was one of only two foreign nationals to hold the rank of Comandante in the revolutionary forces....

     (1928–1961), American adventurer
  • Fernando Ortiz
    Fernando Ortiz
    Fernando Ortiz Fernández was a Cuban essayist, ethnomusicologist and scholar of Afro-Cuban culture. Ortiz was a prolific polymath dedicated to exploring, recording, and understanding all aspects of indigenous Cuban culture...

     (1881–1969), ethnomusicologist
  • German Pinelli
    German Pinelli
    German Pinelli was a Cuban journalist and actor....

     (1907–1996), journalist, actor
  • Chano Pozo
    Chano Pozo
    Chano Pozo was a percussionist, singer, dancer and composer who played a major role in the founding of Latin jazz...

     (1915–1948), musician, pioneer of Afrocuban jazz
  • Juan Ríus Rivera
    Juan Rius Rivera
    General Juan Ríus Rivera , was the General of the Cuban Liberation Army of the West upon the death of General Antonio Maceo.-Early years:...

     (1848–1924), Puerto Rican
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

     military hero
  • Lola Rodríguez de Tió
    Lola Rodríguez de Tio
    Lola Rodríguez de TióThis name uses Spanish marriage naming customs; the first is the maiden family name " Rodríguez" and the second or matrimonial family name is "Tió"., , was the first Puerto Rican born poetess to establish herself a reputation as a great poet throughout all of Latin America...

    (1848–1924), Puerto Rican poetess.Car

External links

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