Cultura

Routes >> Torrero Cemetery

Contemporary cemeteries appear at the end of the 19th century to replace the thousands year old tradition of burying dead bodies in churches. Suffering from lost is added to the pain provoked by the death of a loved person. Cemeteries become "cities of memory" or "areas of absence"; a projection of the city of the living. Its setting up was a revolution hard to settled. Neither the Royal Warrant of 1787, nor other subsequent laws or decrees were observed since it was not easy to change a popular and strongly rooted habit. The goal of cemeteries was to avoid the spread of epidemics by means of a health plan.

Torrero Cemetery was opened in 1834. A convenient geographical location, at the south, "half a league" from the city, on a high area -Torrero mount (from which the cemetery takes its name) -and rightly aired, was looked after. The cemetery was planned by the architects Fernando de Yarza and Joaquín Gironza, on a rectangular area of "about sixty thousand square yards", and run by the parishes of the city and the City Council, until 1987 that became exclusively municipal.

Zaragoza´s growth during the 19th and 20th centuries provoked an increase of burials, and, as a consequence, different expansions were necessary to supply the city´s needs. The restoration and extension of what is called today the Ancient Cemetery (previously Old Cemetery) was planned by Ricardo Magdalena in 1883 and Félix Navarro in 1911. The officially named First Extension was made at the end of the 1930s and beginning of the 1940s. It occupied an area foreseen at first for a park at the north side, and several architects took part in the project. The Costa Extension was planned by Marcelo Carqué in 1958 at the south area of the cemetery, nearby Costa Mausoleum. The Third Extension, made by José Beltrán in 1970, is the biggest one and was completed with the Funerary Complex planned by Saenz de Cenzano in 1977, which introduced for the first time in Zaragoza funeral parlours, a crematorium, cold stores and a big church. Finally, in 1985, Elvira Adiego planned the Fourth Extension at the south of the cemetery to the Barranco de la Muerte.

Today, Torrero Cemetery is a fenced-in area with more than 500,000 m2 and with scarce possibilities of extension. Planned as a cemetery-city typical of Latin necropolis, Torrero Cemetery is divided in streets or paths, and blocks or squares, with banks, trees and street lamps. It is an area for the daily busy activity of the cemetery but also for walking and gazing at funerary art

The route which we propose, will approach us to its most important architecture and sculpture works. It is also interesting to locate the graves of popular people, artists, politicians, bullfighters or professionals, since men and women that have made contemporary Zaragoza or have had a projection beyond the city limits are buried there. In short, here it is the history of the city of the last centuries.

The biggest art interest is concentrated in the so-called Ancient Cemetery. Therefore, our route will start at the main gate, going along different paths -now paved- but sometimes also earth trails. We will follow a reasonable order to see the most interesting elements. The First Extension and the contemporary area are optional. Time to employ is for the visitor to decide.

Index:

  1. Acceses and path "A" (West Side).
  2. Costa path
  3. Contemporary Cemetery (Optional route)
  4. From paths "D" and "C" to the Common Grave Path
  5. Common Grave Path
  6. Path "A", (East Side).
  7. First Extension. (optional route)

Autor del Itinerario: José Ramón Morón