Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Fascination with Evita


The memory of Eva Perón (Evita) is certainly in the minds of many travelers to Buenos Aires.  The former First Lady of Argentina had as many detractors as followers in her own country during her time but today, her international cult is flourishing, due in part to the financial and critical success of the Broadway musical and later a film version simply called, Evita.


Perhaps the best place to start following in Evita's footsteps is to take a guided tour of the Casa Rosada which is across from the Plaza de Mayo. It's a free tour (on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) which leads visitors inside various rooms in the palace including the Scientists' Room where Evita's gold framed photo is prominently displayed on a desk, right beside the famous balcony from where she made public appearances from time to time, most notably in 1951 when crowds gathered outside the  palace waiting for her to accept the Vice Presidential nomination.


The Palm Tree Patio is an oasis in the center of the Casa Rosada. With all the buzz in the surrounding government offices, this courtyard with its water fountain is a place of refuge.


Maria Eva Duarte de Perón died at age 33 from cervical cancer. Her corpse was hidden in Milan for 16 years by the military dictatorship following the downfall of her husband, Juan Peron. She is interred in the Duarte family tomb in La Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Monument to Eva Perón

At her death, there were plans for a grand monument which would contain her casket but these were scrapped because the military dictatorship had a ban on Peronism. But a monument was finally built and it stands on Plaza Evita at Avenida del Libertador in Recoleta. Evita was quoted as saying, "My biggest fear in life is to be forgotten".  She can rest in peace as her memory lives on.

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Images  by Charie

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