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033. tombstones in french

Like their Irish counterparts, French Catholics could also be buried in Recoleta Cemetery. There are even fewer of these tombstones left than the English-language ones.

The plaque below reads: “A Paul Ribeaumont, ses admirateurs et ses amis, 1851—1856” (To Paul Ribeaumont, [from] his admirers & friends, 1851—1856). Obviously it was given on the fifth anniversary of his death. The tomb has been chopped off by another family to the right who wanted a little extra space. No one seems to mind:

Paul Ribeaumont, Recoleta Cemetery

The tombstone below is simple & lacks decoration like some of the Irish ones. The text reads, “Ici réposé Alphonse Huppé, Né le 3 7bre 1820, décédé le 15 Aout 1858 / Priez pour lui” (Here lies Alphonse Huppé, born 03 Sept 1820, died 15 Aug 1858 / Pray for him). Oddly enough, the ground in front of the tombstone has been used at different times to grow green bell peppers by someone with a bizarre sense of humor. At the time of this post, nothing was being harvested:

Alphonse Huppé, Recoleta Cemetery

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  1. The cemetery is one of my favorite places to visit in Buenos Aires. I think your blog will definitely give additional meaning when walking through the corridors. Thanks.

  2. Robert Robert

    Eduardo – My hope is that visitors realize that Recoleta Cemetery is much more than just a cemetery… it’s an open-air museum & should be seen as such. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Bernie Newman Bernie Newman

    I have found several sources indicating that Paul Ribeaumont was an editor of “le courrier de la plata” a French language newspaper in Argentina, published daily between 1865-1940, and then weekly until 1970. The mystery is that Paul Ribeaumont is noted as the writer of several publications in the 1880’s including “Recit de l’année terrible” in 1886. So what is the significance of 1851-1856? And who is Alphonse Huppé? Another Recoleta cemetery enigma .

    • Hello, Bernie – Plaques are normally placed on the anniversary of someone’s death, whether it be the first, fifth (in this case) or some other number. If you search for the word “anniversary” in this blog, several examples will appear. Thanks for the information about Ribeaumont… I’ve not done much research into the French legacy left in Buenos Aires, but it’s nice that some physical remnant of their presence is still here. Saludos!

  4. Bernie Newman Bernie Newman

    Thanks for your response. The reason for my bewilderment is that the anniversary plaque for years 1851-1856 is still thirty years before Ribeaumont died which must have been some time after 1886. Does it mean that “ses amis” installed a plaque recalling a much earlier period of acquaintance?

    • Gotcha… My best guess would be that the Ribeaumont buried in the cemetery is the father of the newspaper editor. One of the most difficult aspects of cemetery genealogy research is the tendency for parents to name their children after themselves. While I can’t say for sure, I’ve seen this often in Recoleta Cemetery. Hope that helps!

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