Five blocks northwest from Plaza de la Revolución along tree-lined Paseo, there’s a worthwhile detour to the left at the Zapata junction: the Necrópolis de Colón, one of the largest cemeteries in the Americas. With moribund foresight the necropolis was designed in 1868 to have space for well over a hundred years’ worth of corpses, and its neatly numbered “streets”, lined with grandiose tombstones and mausoleums and shaded by large trees, stretch out over five square kilometres. A tranquil refuge from the noise of the city, it is a fascinating place to visit – you can spend hours here seeking out the graves of the famous, including the parents of José Martí (he is buried in Santiago), celebrated novelist Alejo Carpentier, photographer Alberto “Korda” Gutiérrez, and a host of revolutionary martyrs.

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