In 1886 the Christopher Columbus Necropolis opened its doors, the works that were developed to conceive such a majestic work lasted for fifteen years.
Being its main executor the Spanish architect Calixto Aureliano de Loira y Cardoso.
Who devised an enclosure consisting of 56 hectares of land arranged in a rectangle, 830 by 630 meters, with barracks that are traced from paths or streets in the shape of a cross, from north to south and from east to west.
People who have visited the cemetery or simply observed it from outside have been guarded by the three virtues:
- hope and
- the charity.
Set that is arranged in the formation of a triumphal arch, which was worked in white Carrara marble at the hands of the Cuban sculptor José Villalta Saavedra.
Three kilometers of walls with bars and cups made with iron, protect the great work which has pieces of art of incalculable value.
Inside there is a main chapel, octagonal in shape and with three concentric bodies, which is unique in Cuba and is decorated with paintings by the great genius Miguel Melero.
Who was the first buried in the Colón Cemetery?
It is curious to start talking about life as a result of a subject as gloomy as death, and it is precisely both antitheses that will travel eternally holding hands for the rest of eternity.
Life conspiring with fate, they decided that precisely one of the architects who was in charge of the construction of the Christopher Columbus Necropolis would be in charge of inaugurating the site that was considered his masterpiece.
Being Calixto Aureliano de Loira y Cardoso the first deceased to rest in the largest and most important cemetery in Cuba.
History picked up this fact as a paradox of destiny, because for the first time on the island an event like this was observed.
A reality that unleashed the myths and legends that years later continued to be woven about the necropolis.
The remains of this famous architect are sheltered in a place of the cemetery called the Tobías gallery, under the seal of this man the design of the portal or frontal view of the mortuary was established.
The curse of the Colón Necropolis Portico
The work of Calixto Aureliano de Loira y Cardoso was continued by the also famous architect Félix de Azua who would be in charge of completing the construction of the Portico of the funerary enclosure.
But luck had abandoned the engineer by then, because a year after his appointment, like his predecessor, he died mysteriously.
Giving rise to the myth known as the curse of the porch of the Christopher Columbus Necropolis, happening to occupy one of the tombs of the cemetery to which he would unexpectedly end up giving not only his talent but, failing that, his own life.