Cemetery of Punta Arenas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Avenida Bulnes 29, Punta Arenas
Coordinates53°09′10″S 70°53′51″W / 53.15278°S 70.89750°W / -53.15278; -70.89750Coordinates: 53°09′10″S 70°53′51″W / 53.15278°S 70.89750°W / -53.15278; -70.89750
Size4 hectares (9.9 acres)

Cemetery of Punta Arenas Sara Braun is the public cemetery of the city of Punta Arenas, Chile. It has four hectares and is located in the northern area of the city, in Bulnes Avenue, and between the streets Francisco Bilbao and Angamos. There are three entrances: the main entrance is in Bulnes Avenue, and two other entrances are in Francisco Bilbao and Angamos streets. Since the cemetery had long ago reached its capacity, it has been supplemented and largely replaced by a controversial newer cemetery further to the north of the city, though the earlier site retains its status as a "monument cemetery."

The cemetery has been ranked by CNN as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.[1] It was designated a National Monument of Chile in 2012.[2]


Under the administration of the Governor Manuel Señoret, the cemetery was inaugurated on 9 April 1894. This saint field was built in order to replace the old one, which was located where José de los Santos Mardones Square is today. The area was donated by the pioneer Sara Braun and in 1919 the engineer Fortunato Circutti designed the whole portico and walls that surround the cemetery.[needs to be re-written in proper English]

Important Characters[edit]

Relevant figures in the history of Punta Arenas are buried in the cemetery of that city. It is important to mention the chapels of the great families of that epoch such as Menèndez-Behety, Braun Hamburger, Blanchard, Greenshields, Kusanovic and Menèndez-Montes. Menèndez-Behety was one of the most influential families during that time and they founded several companies and acquired large tracts of land in the Chilean Patagonia.

Antonio Soto, one of the leaders of the Patagonia Rebelde labor uprising in Argentina, is also buried in the cemetery.

The Legends of the Cemetery[edit]

The cemetery of Punta Arenas is well known because of its attractive legends that transform the place into a magical environment of mystery. Some of the urban legends associated with the site are:

  • When Sara Braun gave everything for building the entrance of the cemetery, she asked for something. After her death, the central door of the cemetery had to be closed forever. Nowadays, that door is still closed and has not been opened since Sara Braun's death. Another legend about Braun is that she is uninterred each year on 1 November to have her makeup redone and hair styled.[3]
  • Another known legend of the cemetery is the one concerning the “Indio Desconocido”. Everything started in 1930 when an Indian died in the Island called Diego de Almagro. The Indian was buried in the cemetery due to a donation from the administration of the same place. After twenty years, someone discovered several candles and coins around the grave. The years passed by and in 1968 the grave were plenty of papers demonstrating gratitude for being helped by the Indian. Moreover, a woman named Magdalena Vrsalovic decided to donate the coins, in order to help the Cruz Roja of Punta Arenas, a Chilean Institution that helps the community in case of difficulties. Therefore, Magdalena and other people agreed to build a monumental grave with the figure of the Indian made by Edmundo Casanova.


  1. ^ Holmes, Bruce (20 February 2013). "10 of the world's most beautiful cemeteries". CNN. Atlanta. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Cementerio Municipal de Punta Arenas Sara Braun" (in Spanish). National Monuments Council. Retrieved 7 October 2013.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Veksler, Bernardo (22 April 2019). "Efemérides: Al morir Sara Braun, nace un mito en el cementerio". elfunerariodigital.com (in Spanish). El Funerario Digital S.L. Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.

External links[edit]