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248. bh ◊

Massimiliano Bencich, Recoleta Cemetery

Another back wall gem, the tomb of Massimiliano Bencich has little to identify it other than two initials: BH. The Latin inscription doesn’t help much… “In te Domine speravimus” is a modified phrase from the hymn Te Deum meaning “Lord, in thee we have trusted.” Fortunately a single plaque gives away his full name, so the BH must stand for Bencich Hermanos—real estate investors & constructors who gave Buenos Aires some of its most iconic buildings.

Massimiliano Bencich, Recoleta Cemetery

Born in Trieste (northeastern Italy) in 1885, Massimiliano arrived in Buenos Aires in 1910… one year after his brother, Miguel Juan María Bencich. Massimiliano was three years older than Miguel but the younger sibling seemed to be the more enterprising of the pair. Miguel had experience with construction, so the brothers joined forces during the boom years of Buenos Aires. Forming Bencich Hermanos in 1915, they constructed office space & apartments for decades. One of their most recognizable buildings is on Diagonal Norte, one block from Plaza de Mayo. The second photo below was taken during restoration of the domes in 2007:

Bencich Hermanos, Diagonal Norte

Bencich Hermanos, Diagonal Norte

Another high-rise at Arroyo 841 was purchased & renovated by the Sofitel hotel chain in 2002… as seen from the Edificio Kavanagh & looking up from the main entrance:

Bencich Hermanos, Sofitel

Bencich Hermanos, Sofitel

Another sits majestically on the 800 block of Avenida Córdoba & Alfonsina Storni was its most famous resident:

Bencich Hermanos, Avenida Córdoba

Bencich Hermanos, Avenida Córdoba

Several other Bencich buildings grace the BA skyline with their interesting domes. Not to be outdone, the tomb in Recoleta Cemetery has an equally beautiful stained glass, onion-shaped dome:

Massimiliano Bencich, Recoleta Cemetery

A massive, marble casket rests inside:

Massimiliano Bencich, Recoleta Cemetery

Miguel passed away in 1965 & Massimiliano followed soon after in 1972. But only the elder brother is currently buried here… Miguel Bencich can be found in a tomb near Rufina Cambacérès. But with BH inscribed above the door & the modified Latin hymn, they likely intended to be buried together.

Published inArt + Architecture

3 Comments

  1. Patrice Fiset Patrice Fiset

    Hello, excellent website, by the way, my bedroom is just under the big white tower of the Cordoba building. This is a really nice place to leave.

  2. Thanks, Patrice. Someone sent me a link a couple years ago with photos of that particular apartment. Maybe it was on Craig’s List? What a fantastic building. Saludos!

  3. […] are buried among the other Buenos Aires notables in the world-renowned Recoleta Cemetery. This blog, by a former Seattleite who works for Rick Steves, explains the Bencich mausoleum and offers more […]

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