Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro (The Presbitero Matías Maestro Cemetery)

The cemetery of anecdotes and scandals is one of the must-sees in this Peruvian city.

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Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro (The Presbitero Matías Maestro Cemetery)

The first Latin-American civil cemetery.

As well as being the first Latin-American cemetery, the 'Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro' is home to more anecdotes than tombs since 1805. To begin with, the idea of not burying the dead in the church's crypts was considered to be scandalous. The landscape of the cementery included parks, sculptures and fine chapels that were decorated with frescoes inside. Just at the moment when a painter named Francisco Acosta was painting the final touches, he had an accident and died. But his body was hidden and it had to wait to be buried until after the Spanish Archbishop 'Juan Domingo González de la Reguera' had the honour of being the first to be buried in the place. Setting the scene for christian rituals and other religious events, the last scandal ocurred in 1917 when a Russian dancer named Norka Rouskaya danced semi-naked to Chopin's 'Funeral March' in the middle of the cemetery and at night, cheered on by a group of bohemians and writers of that period who almost ended up in prison due to their adventure.

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