Fodor's Expert Review Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón
The Christopher Columbus Cemetery sprawls behind a huge ceremonial arch and is a repository for a great deal more than just the deceased. Founded in 1868 by Bishop Espada, it's a veritable pantheon of monuments commemorating poets, novelists, musicians, soldiers, statesmen, and rank-and-file citizens. Cuban novelist Cirilo Villaverde and Cervantes-laureate Alejo Carpentier are here, as are the martyrs of the Granma yacht landing, the students killed in the 1957 assault on the Palacio Presidencial, and Buena Vista Social Club member Ibrahim Ferrer Planas. This is also a place full of extraordinary legends, some of them macabre. You can learn all about them on a guided tour (highly recommended; you can arrange for one in English for a small fee at the hut just inside the grounds to the right). Be sure to ask about the story of La Milagrosa (The Miraculous).