Puerto Rico // San Juan and around //

Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis

Wedged between the city walls and the Atlantic on the north side of the campo, the Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis  is one of the most picturesque sights in San Juan, its ornate but tightly packed marble tombs and monuments backed by an immense span of blue stretching far into the horizon. The best views are from the walls above, but to get inside the cemetery walk through the road tunnel at the northeast corner of the campo. Although it’s located near La Perla, there are caretakers on duty and it’s usually safe to visit here during the day.

The most famous person buried here is Pedro Albizu Campos, leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. His marble tomb is marked by two national flags in a corner of the old section. Nearby is the grave of José de Diego, topped with a bust of the poet and independence advocate. Look out also for doctor and politician José Celso Barbosa, buried in a family tomb in the modern section of the cemetery, on the left side of the main path as you enter and Gilberto Concepción de Gracia, founder of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP). Note that the infamous pirate Roberto Cofresí, who was executed outside El Morro in 1825, was buried somewhere on the campo – criminals could not be laid to rest inside the cemetery.